MILWAUKEE – Marian University men’s tennis has been picked to finish in eighth according to the NACC preseason poll after picking up 75 votes, as voted on by the sports information directors and head coaches of the league.
CUW tallied 193 points and received 13 of 20 first-place votes to edge NACC debutant Illinois Institute of Technology by seven points as the league favorite to win the conference. Concordia Wisconsin swept both the league’s regular-season and tournament crowns last season, advancing to the NCAA Division III Championship where they dropped a 5-2 match to Grinnell in the first round.
The Scarlet Hawks finished with 186 points and pulled in the seven remaining first-place votes. Edgewood College (147 points) holds a similar edge over Milwaukee School of Engineering (140) for third place, while Dominican University was fifth with 106. Wisconsin Lutheran College (93), Aurora University (87), Marian University (75), Lakeland University (43) and Concordia University Chicago (24) rounded out the final five spots in the poll.
Four NACC programs have already kicked off their regular seasons in Concordia Wisconsin, Illinois Tech, Aurora and MSOE. Edgewood gets underway Saturday (Feb. 9) with a pair of matches, while Lakeland follows with two duals the following weekend. Wisconsin Lutheran plays its first match of 2019 on Thursday, Feb. 28, while the three remaining programs, Concordia Chicago, Dominican, and Marian, will not start competing until the calendar turns to March.
Conference play begins Saturday, March 30, with a full slate of nine matches. That begins a month-long sprint through April as teams try to secure one of the six available spots in the 2019 NACC Men’s Tennis Tournament.
The NACC’s regular season standings determine both the league champion as well as the teams that qualify for the six-team conference tournament, while the tournament champion receives the league’s automatic berth to the 2019 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championship.
Marian opens the season at Lawrence Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m. from Oshkosh YMCA Tennis Center in non-conference action.
2019 NACC Men’s Tennis Preseason Poll
First-place votes in parentheses
Concordia Wisconsin (13) 193
Illinois Tech (7) 186
Wisconsin Lutheran 93
Concordia Chicago 24