Bobcats picked third in Conference Carolinas preseason poll

HIGH POINT, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's tennis team is picked to finish third in the race for the 2011 Conference Carolinas regular season championship in a poll of the league's head coaches, announced conference officials Tuesday.

Lees-McRae received 58 points and two first-place votes in the poll after capping a solid 2010 campaign with a semifinal finish in the Conference Carolinas Tournament, falling to eventual champion Erskine College after earning the third seed with an 8-2 record against league opponents during the regular season. The Bobcats posted a 13-8 overall record on the season, as Christine Vanard (Winston-Salem, N.C.) was named to the all-Conference Carolinas First Team.

"It's hard to predict how the conference will play out this year," said head coach Keith Turner. "A lot of teams, including ours, have lost key players from last year's teams. Senior Christine Vanard is going to play a huge role for us this coming year. As one of the best players in the conference, we will need Christine to help get us out to quick starts in the singles and doubles matches. We have three new players in the lineup this year, and we will just have to see if they are up for the challenge."

Erskine is picked to win the 2011 conference crown, receiving 74 points and five first-place votes. Queens University of Charlotte is second with 70 points and three first-place votes, followed by Lees-McRae, Pfeiffer University (51), and Mount Olive College (50). Limestone College is sixth with 40 points, followed by Coker College (34), Barton College (32), Converse College (31), and Belmont Abbey College (10).

Lees-McRae opens its season on Wednesday when the Bobcats travel to Belmont, N.C. to take on Belmont Abbey in a conference matchup. Play is slated to begin at 2:30 p.m.

- LMC -

2011 Conference Carolinas Men's Tennis Preseason Poll

Rk. School (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Erskine College (5) 74
2. Queens University of Charlotte (3) 70
3. Lees-McRae College (2) 58
4. Pfeiffer University 51
5. Mount Olive College 50
6. Limestone College 40
7. Coker College 34
8. Barton College 32
9. Converse College 31
10. Belmont Abbey College 10