TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship this season, in a preseason poll of league women's tennis coaches released Tuesday.
Rose-Hulman was picked first in the poll with four of a possible nine first-place votes and 75 points. Transylvania University was picked second with 70 points and two first-place votes.
The tightly contested poll included Franklin College in third place (61 poll points and two first-place votes) and Hanover College in fourth (56 points and one first-place vote). Anderson (47), Manchester (41), Earlham (28), Defiance (17) and Mount St. Joseph (10) rounded out the poll.
The Fightin' Engineers return five of their six singles players and eight varsity letter winners to a squad that narrowly missed the HCAC championship last season. Rose-Hulman finished 11-6 overall and were the conference runner-up to Franklin in both the regular season and league tournament.
Seniors Paige Cook (Terre Haute/North) and Marie Stettler (Edgerton, Wis./Senior) earned first-team all-conference honors last season. Cook finished 12-6 in singles play and has career records of 26-10 in singles matches and 32-14 in doubles play. Stettler, 10-7 in singles play in 2012, ranks third in school history in singles wins (35) and is seventh in doubles wins (28).
Junior Kylie McCollum (Lee's Summit, Mo./West) and sophomore Lauren Miller (Highland, Ill.) were honorable mention all-conference selections last season. McCollum is 23-7 in singles play and 19-10 in doubles play at Rose-Hulman, while Miller finished 8-8 in singles matches as a freshman.
Other returning letter winners include junior Sarah Hensley (Linton/Linton-Stockton), junior Suzana Mohd (Puchong, Malaysia/Mara University), senior Lauren Reberger (Brazil/Northview) and junior Sonia Sanchez (Hammond). The roster also includes senior Grace Johnson-Bann (Hermitage Lake, Tenn./Hunters Lane) and three newcomers.
Rose-Hulman's schedule begins with road matchups against Defiance and Indiana Tech. The home schedule opens with a matchup against Oakland City on Sept. 15.