FAIRFIELD, Conn – The Sacred Heart women's tennis team has been selected to finish third in the Northeast Conference, according the to Preseason Coaches Poll released Friday afternoon. The Pioneers find themselves tied with Bryant in the third slot. Two-time defending champions, Fairleigh Dickinson, sits atop the poll, while LIU Brooklyn was voted second.
The Pioneers, headed by Coach Mike Guastelle in his 20th season, have made the NEC semi-finals in each of the last five seasons, but have never won a conference championship.
Sacred Heart returns five starters from a year ago, and is already 2-3 in dual matches this season with wins over Siena and Monmouth. The Pioneers are led by senior Gabi Kaldan (New Brunswick, NJ) and sophomore Katie DeRienzo (Douglaston, NY), who play the top two singles slots. Kaldan is 6-7 in singles matches this season, while DeRienzo is 8-6.
Sacred Heart was defeated by FDU in the semi-finals of last year's NEC tournament.
1. Fairleigh Dickinson (8)
2. LIU Brooklyn (1)
5. Mount St. Mary's
6. Saint Francis U
7. Robert Morris
9. St. Francis Brooklyn
The Pioneers begin conference play on February 22nd, with a 7:00 match against Saint Francis University at the Yale Indoor Tennis Facility.