The Emory University Women's Team will enter the 2014 season as the second-ranked team in Division III, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) Preseason Poll, released on Thursday afternoon.
Emory was ranked behind only Williams College, which beat the Eagles in last year's NCAA Division III Championship Match to claim its sixth-straight National Title. Rounding out the top-five teams nationally were Amherst, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Middlebury.
The Eagles were one of six University Athletic Association (UAA) schools featured in the first national rankings, along with eighth-ranked Chicago, ninth-ranked Carnegie Mellon, 12th-ranked Washington University (Mo.), 24th-ranked Brandeis and 25th-ranked Case Western Reserve. Ranked Division III teams on the Eagles' regular-season schedule in 2014 include #3 Amherst, #6 Bowdoin, #5 Middlebury, #7 Johns Hopkins, #13 DePauw, #15 Sewanee and #25 Case Western Reserve.
Emory also checked in as the top-ranked squad in the Atlantic South Region rankings, also released on Thursday. Individually, six Eagles (all freshmen or sophomores) were ranked among the region's top-25 singles players, led by top-ranked freshman Michelle Satterfield, who won the NCAA Division III singles draw at the ITA Small College Nationals in October. Freshman Melissa Goodman checked in at third in the region's singles rankings, followed by fifth-ranked sophomore Madison Gordon, seventh-ranked sophomore Beatrice Rosen, 15th-ranked sophomore Stephanie Loutsenko and 22nd-ranked freshman Katarina Su. Not featured in the rankings was senior co-captain Gabrielle Clark, the 2012 NCAA D-III Singles Champion and three-time All-American, who did not participate in singles play during the fall, but is expected to return to action in the spring. Clark ended the 2013 season as the top-ranked player in the Atlantic South region.
Four Emory doubles teams were ranked in the top-14 in the region, led by the second-ranked pairing of Satterfield and junior Rebecca Siegler, who won the ITA South Region Doubles Championship in late September. Goodman and senior co-captain Brenna Kelly are the fourth-ranked pair in the region, followed by the seventh-ranked duo of Loutsenko and Rosen, and the 14th-ranked pair of Gordon and Su.
The Eagles will be off from competition for the remainder of the fall semester, before opening their spring 2014 season on Thursday, February 20th on the road at Shorter College and Berry College.