Lady ‘Cats picked fourth in MEC women’s tennis poll

Five-time defending champion West Virginia State has been selected by a vote of the league’s coaches to win the 2019 Mountain East Conference title in Women’s Tennis.

The Yellow Jackets finished first in the poll with 62 points collecting six first-place votes. In addition to winning each of the last five regular season titles, WVSU has also claimed four of five MEC Tournament titles. West Virginia State has not lost a regular season conference match since the beginning league started in 2013-14.

West Virginia State returns a bulk of its lineup from last year from a team that advanced to the “Sweet 16” in the NCAA Tournament. Laura Isbey, the two-time MEC Player of the Year, is back to help lead WVSU. Kiersten Hensley, another first-team All-MEC performer, also returns for WVSU, along with Hanna Kruhlova, Kayla McNight, Sydney Miller and Nika Tadic.

The University of Charleston was picked to finish runner-up with 59 points and two first-place votes. The Golden Eagles had three first-team All-MEC selections last year in Elise Edwards, Kristine Gegeshidze and Katie Swann, and all three are back in the lineup this season to help challenge for the title. Additionally, Silivana Slusarciuc is back for her senior year after earning second-team honors a season ago. Gegeshidze and Swann are also a two-time ITA Atlantic Region champion in doubles.

West Liberty, which reached the NCAA Tournament last year along with WVSU and UC, is predicted to finish third with 46 points. Senior Laura Huwe, a second-team All-MEC a season ago, is one of just two seniors on the roster with four freshmen and one sophomore. West Virginia Wesleyan will look to replace its two first-team All-Conference selections from last year and is slotted fourth in the poll with 41 points. 

Fairmont State finished fifth with 36 points. The Fighting Falcons will be led by Trinite´ Klamadji, a two-time first-team All-MEC performer. Notre Dame, in just its second year as a varsity program, was sixth (28 points), followed by UVa-Wise (27), Shepherd (16) and Concord (9). 

The MEC Women’s Tennis Tournament, which had been held in the fall the first five years of the league, has now moved to the spring. The top six teams in the regular season advance to the MEC Tournament held May 1-3 at the Brian David Fox Tennis Center in Huntington, W.Va. 

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