Buccaneers travel to Clemson for final tune-up before 2017 season

Buccaneers travel to Clemson for final tune-up before 2017 season

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern women's tennis heads to Clemson this weekend with a match against the Tigers at 2 p.m. at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center.

The Bucs were picked third in the Big South women's tennis preseason poll by the league's head coaches as announced by the conference office. CSU received one first place vote and 65 points overall in the poll.

CSU will be led at the top once again by a pair of Big South All-Conference singles players in senior Nicolin Luecke and junior Sophie Cloessner.

Luecke, the reigning Big South Women's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Second Team All-Conference selection, went 11-7 overall in singles play on court no. 1. Cloessner, the Bucs' representative on the All-Conference First Team, went a perfect 9-0 on court no. 2 on her way to a team-best 15-2 overall singles record on the season.

The Bucs will also be buoyed by the return of seniors Mi'Kola Cooper and Valeria Koussenkova, junior Kristen Farmer and sophomore Kimberley Koerner.

Cooper returns after missing the 2016 season due to injury, while Koussenkova has been a solid contributor in the CSU lineup with a career record of 29-7 record on courts 5 and 6. Koerner went 12-7 overall in singles play last season on courts 4 and 5. Farmer has provided solid depth to the CSU lineup over the past two seasons.

CSU added additional depth to the lineup with sophomore transfer Yana Morar (VCU), and freshmen Ally Blake and Femcke van Rensburg this season.

Clemson is led by a pair of sophomores at the top of the lineup with Ayan Broomfield and Marie-Alexandre Leduc both nationally-ranked in singles and doubles, according to the Oracle/ITA rankings released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on Jan. 4.

Broomfield, from Toronto, is 40th in the nation in singles, while Leduc, a fellow Canadian from Saguenay, Quebec, is 84th. As a doubles team, the duo is listed at 44th nationally. Broomfield was the ACC Freshman of the Year in 2016, as well as an All-ACC Second Team selection. Leduc sat out the 2015-16 season and saw her first action as a Tiger in the fall of 2016 when she was 5-3 in singles play.

The Tigers played a full fall slate in the fall to prepare for the upcoming season with three players recording winning records in the season. Broomfield (8-4) and Leduc (5-3) were among the Tigers' leaders, while fellow sophomore Aly Miller-Krasilnikov went 7-4 over the fall slate.

Charleston Southern officially begins 2017 on Saturday, February 4, at UNC Wilmington in Wilmington, N.C. First serve between the Bucs and the Seahawks at the UNCW Tennis Complex is set for 1 p.m.

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