BOSTON, Mass. -- Simmons Tennis will look to repeat as Great Northeast Athletic Conference Champions for the sixth straight year after an undefeated 8-0 in conference play last season. The team has now won 50 consecutive GNAC matches, dating back to 2007.
The Sharks, who return 2012 GNAC Player of the Year Margaret Teague (Manchester, N.H.) and 2012 GNAC Rookie of the Year Meghan Cokely (Haverhill, Mass.), graduated just one senior but welcome five new faces to the 2013 roster. Cathy Baker (Simsbury, Conn.), Sofie Epshtein (Newton, Mass.), Ashley Pierce (Carver, Mass.), Theresa Reinhard (Canton, Ohio), and Emmy Snyder (New London, N.H.) join the young Sharks with experience in both high school and United States Tennis Association (USTA) competition.
"We return the conference Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year so we are positioned to do quite well. In addition, we are bringing in a very deep and talented group of first-years. If we stay healthy, we should be able to compete for the conference title," said head coach and 2012 GNAC Tennis Coach of the Year Bob Rauseo.
Simmons automatically qualified for the NCAA tournament last spring and the team has a goal to advance further in the tournament this season. The Sharks also received Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team honors for the third time in four years with Caroline Khoury (Portsmouth, Ohio), Rachael Downey (Groveland, Mass.) and Teague all receiving individual ITA Scholar-Athlete honors.
The Sharks took top honors in the 2013 GNAC Tennis Coaches preseason poll announced earlier this week, receiving 48 of a possible 49 points and six of seven first place votes.
The Sharks open their 2013 season on Saturday, Aug 31st at home against Wheaton College. Game time is set for 12:00 p.m. at the Harvard University tennis facility.