W&L Women's Tennis Tops ODAC Preseason Poll

LEXINGTON, Va. – The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2014 Women's Tennis Preseason Poll and Washington and Lee was chosen to finish first in the league.

The Generals collected 121 points and 11 first-place votes to sit atop the poll results. Roanoke was tabbed second with 98 points, while Bridgewater tallied 90 points and the final first-place vote to sit third. Virginia Wesleyan (82), Randolph-Macon (77), Randolph (63), Guilford (57), Sweet Briar (57), Hollins (56), Emory & Henry (47), Shenandoah (31) and Lynchburg (13) rounded out the poll. 

W&L finished its 2013 campaign with a 19-8 overall record and registered a perfect 11-0 mark in conference action to claim the program's 11th consecutive ODAC Championship. The team fell to Sewanee in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, 5-4, and sent two individuals to the NCAA Singles Championships.

Among the top returnees are juniors Sonja Meighan (McLean, Va. / Flint Hill) and Patricia Kirkland (Charleston, S.C. / Ashley Hall).

Meighan earned First Team All-ODAC accolades at both No. 1 singles and doubles, and was named the ODAC Player of the Year last season. She was also named ITA All-American for the second consecutive season, and concluded the year with a 16-6 singles mark and a 19-6 record in doubles play. In the fall, she won the ITA Southeast Regional Singles and Doubles titles and placed second in both at the ITA Small College Championships. She enters the spring season ranked second in the region in singles and first in doubles.

Last season, Kirkland was awarded her second First Team All-ODAC honor at No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles, and she was also named ITA All-America, ITA All-Academic and ODAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She recorded a 7-1 singles mark and a 20-6 mark in doubles, and finished the season ranked third in the nation in doubles when partnering with Meighan. In the fall, she won the ITA Southeast Regional Doubles Championship and placed second in doubles at the ITA Small College championship.

Other key returners include junior Meghan Buell (New Albany, Ohio / New Albany) and senior Claire Cahill (Austin, Texas/Austin).

Buell notched First Team All-ODAC and ITA All-America accolades after recording a 20-8 mark in singles action and a 10-5 doubles record last season. Buell and Cahill teamed up last fall to claim the ITA Southeast Region Doubles Championship and take runner-up at the ITA National Small College Championships. A First-Team All-ODAC and ITA All-America selection, Cahill ended last season 10-11 in singles action and 20-14 in doubles.

The Generals kick off their spring season on Sunday, February 16, when they travel to Virginia Wesleyan for a 1:00 pm contest.

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