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Pioneers selected third in SAC preseason poll

Pioneers selected third in SAC preseason poll

ROCK HILL, S.C. --- The Tusculum College women's tennis team was picked to finish third in the South Atlantic Conference preseason poll, as voted upon by the league's 12 head coaches and announced Monday.

The Pioneers are represented on the SAC preseason All-Conference team by junior Franziska Funke, who was a first-team selection in singles.

Tusculum went 19-5 overall and finished 10-1 in the SAC during the 2016 season, good for a second-place finish in the league behind Wingate. The Pioneers were eliminated in the semifinals of the SAC Women's Tennis Championship by eventual champion Queens University of Charlotte, which beat Wingate in the finals.

Funke was a first-team All-SAC selection in singles last season after finishing with a stellar 22-1 overall record for the Pioneers, playing mostly at #2 singles. Funke went 10-0 in conference matches and opened the season with 15 straight wins before her only loss, which came in three sets against Division I Western Carolina. Funke went to three sets just three times in her 22 wins, and lost just nine games during four victories while playing at the number-one spot in the Pioneer lineup.

The native of Bochum, Germany has a career singles record of 37-2 for the Pioneers and is 37-8 all-time in doubles play. Funke and freshman teammate Katarina Majorova are eighth in the Southeast Region in the fall Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division II rankings.

Tusculum received 114 total points in the voting, placing the Pioneers behind Wingate and Queens, who each received six first-place votes. The Bulldogs had 135 points to earn the top spot in the poll, one point ahead of the Royals who had 134.

After Tusculum, the remainder of the poll consists of Anderson, Newberry, Lincoln Memorial, Carson-Newman, Lenoir-Rhyne, Coker, Catawba, Mars Hill and Brevard.

Tusculum, which went 2-0 in fall matches, opens its spring schedule on Saturday, Feb. 11 at two-time NAIA champion Georgia Gwinnett. The Pioneers' first SAC match of the season will be Thursday, Feb. 16 at Mars Hill, with the spring home opener scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25 against Lenoir-Rhyne.

2017 South Atlantic Conference Women's Tennis Preseason Poll

Rk

Team (1st Place Votes)

PTS

1

Wingate (6)

135

2

Queens (6)

134

3

TUSCULUM

114

4

Anderson

87

5

Newberry

86

6

Lincoln Memorial

80

7

Carson-Newman

65

8

Lenior-Rhyne

61

9

Coker

59

10

Catawba

52

11

Mars Hill

29

12

Brevard

20


2017 Women's Tennis Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference
First Team Doubles
Carlotta Nassi/Melissa Laing, Queens
Marta Gonzalez/Caroline Nielson, Queens
Claudia De Andries/Maria Garcia, Wingate

Second Team Doubles
Layla Tanik/Sydney Homan, Wingate
Ivey Welborn/Rebecca Bruning, Anderson
Marta Pinol/Roksolana Prudyvus, Lincoln Memorial

First Team Singles
Carlotta Nassi, Queens
Elizabeth Williamson, Newberry
Claudia De Andries, Wingate
Melissa Laing, Queens
Franziska Funke, Tusculum
Marta Pinol, Lincoln Memorial

Second Team Singles
Rebecca Bruning, Anderson
Marta Gonzalez, Queens
Alis Harris, Carson-Newman
Layla Tanik, Wingate
Sydney Homan, Wingate
Jil Corsato Owsianka, Carson-Newman

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