Buccaneers picked third in the Big South women's tennis preseason poll

Buccaneers picked third in the Big South women's tennis preseason poll

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BigSouthSports.com) - Charleston Southern was picked third in the Big South women's tennis preseason poll by the league's head coaches as announced by the conference office on Wednesday afternoon.

The Buccaneers received one first place vote and 65 points overall in the poll. Winthrop was voted the preseason favorite, while Liberty was selected second overall.

2017 Big South Women's Tennis Preseason Poll

CSU opens the 2017 season on January 21-22 at the Duckworth Winter Classic hosted by Clemson at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center.

The Bucs return a pair of Big South All-Conference singles players in senior Nicolin Luecke and junior Sophie Cloessner.

Luecke, the reigning Big South Women's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Second Team All-Conference selection, went 11-7 overall in singles play on court no. 1. Cloessner, the Bucs' representative on the All-Conference First Team, went a perfect 9-0 on court no. 2 on her way to a team-best 15-2 overall singles record on the season.

The Bucs will also be buoyed by the return of seniors Mi'Kola Cooper and Valeria Koussenkova, junior Kristen Farmer and sophomore Kimberley Koerner.

Cooper returns after missing the 2016 season due to injury, while Koussenkova has been a solid contributor in the CSU lineup with a career record of 29-7 record on courts 5 and 6. Koerner went 12-7 overall in singles play last season on courts 4 and 5. Farmer has provided solid depth to the CSU lineup over the past two seasons.

Baker added additional depth to the CSU lineup with sophomore transfer Yana Morar (VCU), and freshmen Ally Blake and Femcke van Rensburg.

Campbell was voted fourth with 53 points, while Radford and UNC Asheville tied for fifth-place in the poll with 37 points each.  Gardner-Webb followed in seventh (27 points), with Presbyterian College predicted eighth (24 points).  Longwood finished ninth with 11 points to round out the poll.

The 2017 Big South Tennis Championship will be held at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.  The women's championship will be contested April 20-23.

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