Melbourne, Fla. – Coming off a runner-up finish at the 2017 NCAA National Championship, Lynn University's women's tennis team was picked No. 1 in the 2018 Sunshine State Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, as voted on by the league's coaches and announced by the conference office on Thursday. The Fighting Knights received 97 total votes and seven first-place votes in the 2018 edition of the poll.
The Blue and White are coming off a 24-3 (8-1 SSC) record in 2017, with all three losses coming at the hands of SSC rival, Barry. Lynn finished runner-up to Barry in the SSC regular season standings, in the SSC Tournament title match and in the NCAA National Championship match.
With a strong recruiting class, Lynn receives a three-vote edge over Barry for first place in the poll. The Buccaneers secured 94 total votes and the four remaining first-place votes. In 2017, Barry and Lynn battled for the NCAA Division II national title, with the Buccaneers besting the Fighting Knights for the title. Florida Southern College grabs 77 votes to come in third in the coaches ranking, while Saint Leo University sits in fourth place at 74 votes. Nova Southeastern University rounds out the Top-5 with 65 votes.
Barry and Lynn account for six of the SSC's seven women's tennis national championships. The Buccaneers have won the most recent titles (2011, 2014, & 2017), while the Fighting Knights won the previous three (1997, 1998, & 2001). The remaining championship belongs to the University of North Florida (1994).
Nationally, the Fighting Knights open up the year ranked No. 1 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. It is the program's first No. 1 national ranking since Nov. 9, 2011.
Lynn will host the 2018 Sunshine State Conference men's and women's tennis championships April 19th - 21st. Winners of each tournament will receive automatic qualification to the 2018 NCAA Division II Championships. First and second rounds for the 2018 NCAA Championships will be played at non-predetermined sites April 28th - May 1st. Men's finals will take place May 9th - 12th, while the women's finals are slated for May 8th - 11th. The finals for both men and women will be held at Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Arizona.
Lynn kicks off the 2018 campaign at home vs. Saint Thomas on Thursday, Feb. 1.
2018 SSC WOMEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON COACHES POLL
Palm Beach Atlantic