Thomasville, NC- Anderson University is once again on top of the preseason poll as voted on by CVAC coaches. While not winning the regular season title for the first time in five years, the Trojans did step-up to win the CVAC Tournament Championship.
Anderson’s men had an 18-5 overall and 8-2 CVAC record last year to improve their overall CVAC record (since entering the conference in 1999) to 64-5. New Anderson head coach Rodrigo da Silva has brought a new more intense style to the Anderson tennis programs. “We have been working very hard,” he said. “Everybody jumped on board and said let’s go. I didn’t have any problems even though there was a huge change in style.” The Anderson men enter the spring ranked No. 23 in the ITA Division II poll. “We have a very solid team men’s team,” da Silva said. “Everybody did well in the fall, and they’re getting stronger and faster every day.” Sophomore Philippe Magat returns as Anderson’s No. 1 player. Magat, ranked No. 13 in the ITA singles rankings and was 16-5 last spring. He will be joined by freshman Lucas Moraes who reached the finals of the B draw at the regional tournament during the fall. “We should be fine,” da Silva said. “The guys are excited. They know they have a chance to play very well.
Barton College receives second place in the CVAC coaches’ preseason poll. The Bulldogs return 7 of their top 8 players from last season's 20-10 team that finished second in the CVAC regular season with a 9-1 mark. The Bulldogs, currently rank #23 nationally, and will rely on All-CVAC honorees Brent Ching, Robert Jenner, and Nikola Andjelic to spearhead an experienced group into the spring season. Ching and partner Brandon Simmons also form the 15th ranked doubles team in Division II following a strong fall segment. The team has only one senior on its roster. "We have a good mix of experience, depth, and talent, and a lineup that is solid through the top eight spots," says 7th-year head coach Marc Walters. "We face a stiff challenge from a demanding schedule and a very competitive conference, but I hope to build on the momentum we started this fall."
Mount Olive is coming off its greatest season in history, winning its first-ever regular season CVAC title and becoming the first team in any sport in Mount Olive school history to go undefeated in conference play with a 10-0 CVAC record and 16-10 overall record. Head coach Burt Lewis, last year’s CVAC Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year, will have a young team with three returning sophomores. All-CVAC selection Gabriel Garcia, two-time CVAC Player of the Week Guillherme Serra and Felipe Olarte all posted perfect 10-0 records in singles action during the CVAC regular season.
Rounding out the men's tennis preseason poll 4-11 were: Limestone, Lees-McRae, Erskine, Queens, Coker, Pfeiffer, Belmont Abbey, and St. Andrews respectively.
CVAC Pre-Season Coaches Poll (1st place votes in parenthesis)
1. Anderson University (6) 95
2. Barton College (4) 93
3. Mount Olive College (1) 81
4. Limestone College 71
5. Lees-McRae College 66
6. Erskine College 50
7. Queens University of Charlotte 45
8. Coker College 38
9. Pfeiffer University 36
10. Belmont Abbey College 16
11. St. Andrews Presbyterian College 14