TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's tennis team has been unanimously selected as the preseason favorite to win the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title this season, in a poll of league coaches released Tuesday.
Rose-Hulman received all nine first-place votes and 81 poll points after winning the HCAC regular season and tournament championships last season. Earlham was picked to finish second, followed by Transylvania, Hanover and Franklin.
Rose-Hulman finished 13-6 overall and a perfect 8-0 in HCAC play last season, then won the conference tournament to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Fightin' Engineers return the top four singles players and a key doubles veterans, and have added two newcomers listed as players to watch in the official league release.
Junior Brandon Benedict (11-8), junior Georges Adam (13-5), sophomore Cam Metzger (12-3) and senior Matt Conrad (15-10) held the top four singles positions last season. Junior Joe Kendall recorded an 8-2 record at the No. 3 doubles position to provide additional returning experience. Freshmen Andre Adam and Andrew Schiffman were listed as players to watch on the league website.
Rose-Hulman opens the 2016 season with a match against Washington University in St. Louis this Saturday at 3 p.m. Central Time. Washington University finished No. 3 nationally last season. The Fightin' Engineers have increased their schedule difficulty this year and will face three of the top eight teams in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Preseason NCAA Division III Central Regional rankings.
2016 HCAC MEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON POLL
|Finish||Team||First Place Votes||2015 Overall Record||2015 HCAC Record|
|8||Mt. St. Joseph||18||7-8||2-6|