SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- The way coaches in the West Coast Conference see it, the road to the WCC women's tennis championship will run through Moraga as Saint Mary's was voted the favorite to win this year's title in the 2014 preseason poll released Tuesday.
The Gaels earned 78 points from coaches along with six first-place votes. Pepperdine was next with 76 points and four first-place votes, followed by San Diego with 61 points and Santa Clara with 58. BYU, San Francisco, Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga, Portland and Pacific round out the predicted order of finish.
Also released Tuesday was the All-WCC preseason team and defending WCC Player of the Year Jenny Jullien was selected by coaches to the six-person squad. The No. 7-ranked player in the country enjoyed a phenomenal fall season, reaching the finals of the ITA Northwest Regional and participating in the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in New York.
Joining Jullien on the All-WCC team were Pepperdine's Lorraine Guillermo and Ale Granillo, San Francisco's Andrea Ka, Santa Clara's Katie Le and Portland's Maja Mladenovic.
Saint Mary's returns the majority of a 2013 squad that finished 13-10 overall and 7-1 in WCC play. The Gaels finished in a tie atop the standings with Pepperdine and Santa Clara to earn the regular season title and went on to compete in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year.
The Gaels currently sit at 1-1 overall this season after beating No. 58 Utah and falling to No. 6 USC at last weekend's ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Los Angeles. The No. 37-ranked Gaels will host Fresno State in their 2014 home opener on Sunday at 11 a.m.