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Pepperdine Tabbed As WCC Women's Tennis Favorites

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SAN BRUNO, Calif. – The Pepperdine University women's tennis team has been selected to win the West Coast Conference crown for the upcoming 2015 season, the league office announced Wednesday.

The annual preseason poll was voted on by the league coaches and ranks the ten-team field and top six players to start the campaign.

Pepperdine, ranked No. 19 in the recent ITA rankings, is the unanimous selection to win, garnering nine first place votes as conference policy prohibits coaches from casting a vote for their own team. The Waves collected 81 points to take the top spot, a year after winning their third straight WCC Championship and 11th title in the last 13 years. Waves senior Matea Cutura and sophomore Laura Gulbe, ranked No. 102 by the ITA, are represented on the six-person All-WCC Preseason team.

Saint Mary's claimed second in the preseason poll with 70 points. The Gales, who enter the season ranked No. 44 in the current ITA team poll, are headlined by senior Jamie Pawid on the All-WCC Preseason team. Pawid is ranked No. 103 by the ITA.

Portland received one first-place vote and accumulated a total of 67 points to take third in the preseason poll. The Pilots, ranked No. 67 in the current ITA team poll, finished as the runner-up at the 2015 WCC Tournament and will be paced this season by senior Lucia Butkovska who makes an appearance on the All-WCC Preseason team.

BYU and San Francisco both garnered 51 points to tie for fourth on the preseason poll. The Dons senior Andrea Ka, who is ranked No. 101 in the latest ITA poll, makes a repeat appearance on the All-WCC Preseason team.

Gonzaga and San Diego sit tied for sixth with 36 points each, followed by Santa Clara (23) in eighth, Pacific (18) in ninth and Loyola Marymount (17) in tenth. Junior Jessica Perez of Loyola Marymount completes the six-member preseason All-WCC squad.

The 2016 WCC Women’s Tennis Championship will take place at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont, Calif., April 28-30.

2016 WEST COAST CONFERENCE WOMEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON POLL

Team (First Place Votes) Points
Pepperdine (9) 81
Saint Mary's 70
Portland (1) 67
Brigham Young 51
San Francisco 51
Gonzaga 36
San Diego 36
Santa Clara 23
Pacific 18
Loyola Marymount 17

2016 All-WCC Preseason Women's Tennis Team
Lucia Butkovska, Portland, SR
Matea Cutura, Pepperdine, SR
#102 Laura Gulbe, Pepperdine, SO
#101 Andrea Ka, San Francisco, SR
#103 Jamie Pawid, Saint Mary's, SR
Jessica Perez, Loyola Marymount, JR