Alexandra Sheeran and the rest of the Lady Flames are predicted to finish fifth in the Big South this season.
The Liberty Lady Flames tennis team has been tabbed to finish the 2013 season in fifth place according to the Big South women's tennis preseason poll. Winthrop has been voted as the preseason favorite to win the league for the eighth consecutive year.
Liberty collected 58 points in the poll, which is voted on by the league's head coaches.
The Lady Flames concluded the 2012 spring season winning seven out of their final eight regular-season matches to finish with an overall record of 11-12. Liberty finished Big South play with a 4-4 mark and entered the Big South Championship as the No. 6 seed, before falling in the first round to third-seeded Coastal Carolina.
The Lady Flames graduated only one player from last year's squad and return an experienced group of players who accounted for 85 percent of the team's singles victories in 2012. Brittany Yang, who led the team with 11 singles victories, returns along with Cameron Richard and Rebekah Jenkins who recorded 10 and nine victories, respectively. Richard finished the season on a seven-match winning streak. The junior paced the Lady Flames with a 5-3 mark in Big South play.
Five-time defending Big South champion Winthrop received nine out of 10 first-place votes and 99 points overall to claim the top spot in the poll. Coming in second place was Charleston Southern, who garnered the final first-place vote and finished with 85 points. Coastal Carolina (78), Campbell (67) and Liberty complete the top five.
Radford (52), Gardner-Webb (50), UNC Asheville (27), Longwood (18) and Presbyterian College (16) round out the poll.
The Lady Flames begin the 2013 season this weekend at the Florida Gulf Coast Invite. Liberty's first dual match of the year is on Jan. 27 against Appalachian State at 4 p.m. The contest will be played at the Greenbrier Resort in Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
2013 Big South Conference Preseason Women's Tennis Poll Team (first-place votes) Total Points 1. Winthrop (9) 99 2. Charleston Southern (1) 85 3. Coastal Carolina (78) 4. Campbell (67) 5. Liberty (58) 6. Radford (52) 7. Gardner-Webb (50) 8. UNC Asheville (27) 9. Longwood (18) 10. Presbyterian College (16)
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