Feb. 15, 2011
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The Saint Mary's women's tennis team was chosen to repeat as the 2011 West Coast Conference Champions, according to the 2011 WCC preseason poll, as voted on by the conference coaches. Saint Mary's and Pepperdine boasted five players on the preseason all-conference team, while San Diego claimed the sixth spot.
The top half of the preseason poll mirrored last year's conference tournament finishes. Saint Mary's claimed first place with three first place votes and a total 47 points, while Pepperdine garnered the remaining three first place votes and a total of 45 points. San Diego and Santa Clara took the third and fourth place spots on the preseason poll with 37 and 30 points, respectively.
According to the coaches' poll, Loyola Marymount is expected to make a considerable jump this year. After going 0-9 in conference play last season, the Lions were chosen fifth in the preseason poll with 24 points, while San Francisco fell in sixth with 17. Portland landed in sixth place with 15 points, and Gonzaga rounded out the coaches' poll with nine.
The women's preseason all-conference team saw some familiar names from last season's preseason list in Saint Mary's Alex Poorta and Pepperdine's Anamika Bhargava and Ali Walters. Poorta helped her team secure the 2010 WCC Championship by securing the fourth point against Pepperdine, earning herself All-WCC First Team honors. Bhargava was selected to All-WCC First Team in both singles and doubles for the third straight year last season, while Walters became a two-time All-WCC Second Team selection in singles.
The three new additions to the preseason list are all young sophomores that have quickly proven their right to be selected to the preseason All-WCC team. Catherine Isip was named the 2010 WCC Freshman of the Year after competing primarily at the No. 2 spot for the Gaels and tallying wins over seven nationally-ranked opponents. Arianna Colffer made her debut for the Waves playing at the No. 1 spot and ended the season ranked No. 98 by the ITA. Laura Claus garnered a dual singles mark of 13-11 all at No. 2, while being the only Torero to compete in that position.
2011 WCC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll
1. Saint Mary's - 47 (5)
2. Pepperdine - 45 (3)
3. San Diego - 37
4. Santa Clara - 30
5. Loyola Marymount - 24
6. San Francisco - 17
7. Portland - 15
8. Gonzaga - 9
(First place votes)
2011 Preseason All-Conference Team
Alex Poorta, Saint Mary's, Senior
Ali Walters, Pepperdine, Junior
Anamika Bhargava, Pepperdine, Senior
Arianna Colffer, Pepperdine, Sophomore
Laura Claus, San Diego, Sophomore
Catherine Isip, Saint Mary's, Sophomore