ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons’ women’s tennis was picked as the favorite to win the American Southwest Conference West Division in the preseason poll released on Wednesday.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Hathorn and freshman Landry Laywell were named preseason players to watch for the Cowgirls.
UT Dallas and Hardin-Simmons have been picked to win the 2020 American Southwest Conference women’s tennis East and West Division titles, respectively, after a vote of the league’s head coaches announced by the conference office Wednesday.
The Comets received 72 points and all 12 first place votes to secure the top spot in the East. The Cowgirls collected 63 points and eight of the 12 first place votes to lead the West Division.
East Texas Baptist was picked second in the East Division with 57 points. They were followed by LeTourneau (46), Belhaven (32), Ozarks (30) and Louisiana College (15).
In the West, Concordia Texas was selected second with 60 points and four first place votes, followed by McMurry (50), Mary Hardin-Baylor (36), Howard Payne (26) and Sul Ross State (18).
UTD was the West Division and ASC champion last year with a 12-2 overall record and 6-0 mark in conference play, but will move to the East this season. The Comets advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Division III Championship. HSU finished second in the West Division with a 5-1 mark.
In addition to the preseason poll, 23 players were named to the ASC Women’s Tennis Preseason Watch List by the head coaches. Three players on the list were All-Conference selections in 209 and four total were All-Division.
Reigning ASC East Division Most Valuable Player Elisa Kendall of ETBU was ranked 30th in singles after earning a runner-up finish in the A draw of the ITA Southwest Regional. Kathy Joseph, the West Division MVP in 2019, was ranked 19th in doubles with freshman Samantha Wong after making it to the ITA Regional A Doubles final.
The women’s tennis season will begin on Saturday, January 25 when East Texas Baptist hosts St. Thomas (Texas).