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Women's Tennis Voted Second in Preseason Poll
The Lady Flames received 51 points, including one first-place vote, in being picked second. Liberty returns five of the six members of its 2008 roster, which posted a 13-4 record, the best in the program's eight-year history. 2008 Big South Women's Tennis Coach of the Year Chris Johnson's team's mark included a 12-match winning streak, the longest ever by a Lady Flame tennis team. In addition, Liberty posted a 4-1 mark in conference play and earned an unprecedented No. 2 seed in the Big South Women's Tennis Championship.
Leading the returnees for the Lady Flames is 2008 Big South Player of the Year Jordan Jenkins. Playing at No. 1 singles, the Sarasota, Fla., native posted a 16-1 record and earned 2008 All-Big South and Freshman of the Year honors. She also was the first Lady Flame to be voted VaSID Rookie of the Year, while being named to the VaSID first team singles squad.
Jenkins will again be joined by 2008 doubles partner Ekaterina Kuznetsova. The senior combined with the freshman to record a 16-1 doubles mark and earn All-Big South doubles honors last season. Kuznetsova also posted a 9-6 record in singles.
Besides Jenkins, 2008 first-year Lady Flames Stephanie Brown, Hannah Fick and Fabiana Gouveia return for their second season after having successful seasons last year. Brown and Gouveia enjoyed double-digit win totals during singles in their first year at Liberty. Brown posted a 12-4 record in singles and finished the season by winning eight-straight matches. Gouveia recorded an 11-4 mark in No. 6 singles, winning her last 10 individual contests. Meanwhile, Fick combined with Brown for a 12-3 record at No. 2 doubles. In singles, Fick also posted a 9-7 mark.
Winthrop was chosen to capture the Big South Conference's women's crown in April, garnering six first-place votes and 61 points. Liberty edged out Coastal Carolina for second place in the poll by one point. The Chanticleers also garnered a first-place vote.
The Lady Flames kick off their 2008 schedule by traveling to Norfolk, Va., for a match with Old Dominion, Saturday at 3 p.m. The season is scheduled to conclude at the Big South Conference Women's Tennis Championship, April 16-18 on the campus of Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C.
2009 Big South Conference Preseason Women's Tennis Poll (first place votes)
1. Winthrop (6) 61
2. Liberty (1) 51
3. Coastal Carolina (1) 50
4. Charleston Southern 39
5. Radford 36
T6. UNC Asheville 21
T6. Gardner-Webb 21
8. Presbyterian 9