The 2017 Golden State Athletic Conference tennis season should be relatively competitive. Three men's teams from the GSAC are represented in the top 13 and another team is receiving votes. On the women's side, the GSAC also has three teams ranked in the top 25 and one team receiving votes. Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, is back for its second year as an associate member in the GSAC. The GSAC Men's and Women's Tennis Tournament is scheduled to run April 18-20 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
The Westmont Warriors enter the season ranked eighth in the nation. Coach Basham's team will return some top players and also welcome in some new players. Look for Luke Whalen and Christian Mathis to lead the way for the Warriors this year. If Westmont can say healthy, they should be able to get to the NAIA National Tournament.
Right on their heels will be the Hawks. San Diego Christian is ranked just two below the Warriors. SDC welcomes sophomore transfer, Aliaksandr Meliuk. Meliuk was the No. 1 singles player in community colleges last year. Coach Jensen also returns three of her top players from last year. The Hawks could be dangerous if everyone starts clicking at the right time.
Lewis-Clark State College welcomes back their top player in Yonas Woldetasdik. The senior is a fierce competitor and faired really well in the GSAC tournament last year playing at No. 1 singles. The Warriors welcome four freshman to the team who hope to fill some of the spots that were lost by last year's departing seniors.
Biola is receiving votes in the preseason coaches' poll. The Eagles return all of its primary lineup from 2016 and will have its first full season under head coach David Goodman. Phil Westwood and Lucas Lee look to lead the way for the Eagles.
Arizona Christian and Hope International look to round out the bottom of the conference. Both teams have some good players at the top of their lineups but seem to lack the depth of the top teams.
To see the complete GSAC Men's Tennis Schedule, please click here.
Arizona Christian seems to be the team to beat in the GSAC this year. The Firestorm are ranked 13th in the nation and return two solid players in Mikayla Morgan and Tia Okano. Coach Tolson doesn't have a senior in the top six as he looks to play two juniors, one sophomore, and three freshman. ACU has the talent to take the GSAC crown but do they have the experience? We will find out as the Firestorm begin conference play later this week with powerhouses San Diego Christian and Westmont.
San Diego Christian comes into the season ranked 18th in the nation but a big question mark remains to be answered. The Hawks are awaiting the ruling of No. 1 player, Brittany Augustine, from the NAIA. If Augustine gets cleared this spring, the Hawks could easily be a top 10 team and make a deep post season run. SDC has plenty of depth and hopes to have their No. 1 player sooner than later.
Westmont loses a ton of firepower with the graduation of All-Americans, Lauren Stratman and Inez Costamagna. The Warriors return Isabel Lee who played at No. 3 singles last year. Expect to see some new faces for the Westmont including new head coach Ellie Johnson.
Lewis-Clark State College is receiving votes and could end up ranked in the top 25 in no time. The Warriors return four of their top six from last year's team. Coach Fong's squad will play a tough schedule and should be battle tested come tournament time.
Biola and Hope International look to improve off of last year's season. The Eagles welcome new head coach David Goodman. The Royals hope to have more depth this season and look to build off their experiences from last year.
To see the complete GSAC Women's Tennis Schedule, please click here.