OGDEN, Utah - The Sacramento State women's tennis team has been picked by the league coaches to finish fourth in the Big Sky, the conference announced Thursday.
Sacramento State garnered 82 points in the vote, the same number as Idaho State, as the two land tied for fourth in the poll. The Hornets fell just eight points back of third-place Montana State (90). Idaho, last season's Big Sky champion, was selected to repeat as conference champion, finishing first with 120 votes and 10 first-place votes. Right behind them is Northern Arizona with 112 points (two first-place votes).
Sacramento State finished well above the number six team, Eastern Washington, who collected just 55 points in the poll. Rounding out the conference - in order - is Weber State (52), Montana (51), Southern Utah (45), North Dakota (44), Northern Colorado (37), and Portland State (22).
The top six schools in the final regular season standings qualify for the Big Sky Tournament, to be held April 26-28. See the full 2018 Preseason Poll below.
The Hornets return five starters from last season, including all-Big Sky first team senior Ana Loaiza Esquivias. Esquivias is a two-time all-Big Sky selection, named to the first team twice, and has a 30-2 career singles record in Big Sky play. She went 17-6 overall and 10-1 in the Big Sky playing exclusively at No. 1 singles last season for Sacramento State.
Also retuning are all-Big Sky second team sophomore Sofia Gulnova and all-Big Sky Honorable Mention Sofia Wicker. As a freshman, Gulnova went 16-6 overall and 10-1 in Big Sky singles play while Wicker, who was named a Big Sky Player of the Week for a perfect week in March, led the team with six Big Sky doubles wins last season. The Hornets also return sophomore Carolina Chernyetsky (4-18 overall, 3-6 Big Sky singles).
Also making her Big Sky debut with Sacramento State is head coach Cami Hubbs in her first year in Green and Gold. Hubbs, who played four seasons at Ohio State, has six years of collegiate coaching experience, most recently as an assistant at Cal Poly. She and first-year assistant coach Taylor Hollander take over a Hornets team that went just 7-19 overall last season, though were 7-4 in Big Sky play.
The Hornets open spring play with three road matches. The first is next Saturday, Jan. 20, at Fresno State. The Hornets will make their 2018 home debut on Saturday, Feb,. 3 as the host Nevada. For all matches and start times, visit the complete 2017-18 Women's Tennis Schedule.
|2018 BIG SKY WOMEN'S TENNIS
|#||Team||Points (1st Votes)|
|2.||Northern Arizona||112 (2)|