Valparaiso University's women's tennis team, the defending Mid-Continent Conference regular season champion, has been picked to finish second in the Mid-Continent Conference for the 2005 season according to the preseason poll as selected by the league's head coaches.
Head coach Tim Maluga's squad is coming off of a 13-6 season overall and a perfect 8-0 mark in Mid-Con play in 2004. Valpo advanced to the Mid-Con Tournament title match. The Crusaders earned three first place votes and 59 total points in the league poll. Valpo went 2-1 during the fall season, while also playing in one tournament.
IUPUI, last year's tournament champion, was picked to win the regular season title this year, while Southern Utah was selected one spot below the Crusaders. Oral Roberts was picked fourth, one point ahead of Centenary. Chicago State was selected sixth, while Oakland, Western Illinois, and UMKC rounded out the poll.
First place votes earned eight points in the poll on a scale that saw one point issued for an eighth place pick. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
The Crusaders will open up their 2005 regular season on February 5 as the Crusaders travel to Peoria, Ill. to battle Bradley. First serve is set for 2 p.m. CST.
2005 Mid-Continent Conference Preseason Poll ? Women's Tennis
Team - Points
1. IUPUI (5) - 61
2. Valparaiso (3) - 59
3. Southern Utah (1) - 45
4. Oral Roberts - 38
5. Centenary - 37
6. Chicago State - 31
7. Oakland - 23
8. Western Illinois - 22
9. UMKC - 8
(First place votes in parentheses)