Jan. 11, 2013
ELMHURST, Ill. -- The Oakland women's tennis team was picked fifth in The Summit League Preseason Poll, voted on by the league coaches and released on Friday. The Golden Grizzlies received 24 points in the poll, earning the highest preseason ranking in the program's Division I history.
"It's nice to see that we've moved up in the preseason rankings, but its where you finish the year that matters," said Oakland head coach Heather Redshaw. "Hopefully it will be a motivating factor to our players to try and finish in the top four and earn a spot in The Summit League Championship."
With an influx of new talent, Oakland had a strong fall season with both Tamara Blum and Juliana Guevara winning singles titles at the Wright State Invitational. The Golden Grizzlies feature five freshmen alongside returners Grace Keating and Brittany Baxter.
Kansas City was picked as the preseason favorite with five first-place votes and 46 points. Fort Wayne was second with 44 points and two first-place votes. South Dakota State was tabbed third with 32 points and IUPUI was fourth with 28 points and one first-place vote.
The Golden Grizzlies were picked ahead of sixth place South Dakota, which claimed 23 points. Omaha, which is not eligible to make The Summit League Championship, was tabbed seventh with 17 points. Western Illinois rounded out the list in eighth place with 10 points.
The Golden Grizzlies open the season on Jan. 19 against Michigan State. The match at the MSU Indoor Tennis Complex will begin at 6 p.m.
"The team is really excited for the season to get started," said Redshaw. "We have a great group of excited young players, that are ready to get out and start the season."