PAWTUCKET, R.I.—UMass Boston women's tennis was picked to finish in a tie for sixth-place in the Little East Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, the league office announced Wednesday morning.
The Beacons are aiming to make the Little East Conference Tournament for a program record fourth-consecutive season under the current LEC Tournament format. To keep their streak alive, the Beacons will need to finish in the top-six in the now 10-team LEC field.
Defending LEC Regular Season and Tournament Champion Rhode Island College earned six of the nine first-place votes and 72 total points to finish first in the poll.
UMass Dartmouth (65 points, two first-place votes) and Plymouth State (64 points, one first-place vote) finished just behind the Anchorwomen. Worcester State (54 points) and Bridgewater State University (53 points) rounded out the top five, while Western Connecticut State University tied the Beacons with 37 total points.
The Beacons bring back just two returners from last year's team that finished 4-7 overall and 3-5 in Little East play. Junior Katie Gauthier (West Boylston, Mass.) earned her second-consecutive doubles All-Conference honors last fall and was picked to the LEC First Team for the first time.
Gauthier and fellow junior Valeria Tueme (Bonney Lake, Wash.) will look to lead a young Beacons team that will have to replace five senior members.
UMass Boston opens the season on Friday August 31 at Colby-Sawyer College at Noon. The Beacons will open their home schedule on Tuesday September 11 when they host Simmons College at 3 p.m. Little East Conference play begins four days later, when the Beacons host the University of Southern Maine on Saturday September 15 at 1 p.m.