ORU Men's and Women's Tennis Tabbed Second in Summit Polls
In the men's poll, UMKC received three of seven first-place votes for a total of 32 points, edging out defending 2010 runner-up Oral Roberts, which also received three first-place votes to total 30 points. IUPUI had 26 points to place third followed by Western Illinois, IPFW, South Dakota State and Centenary.
UMKC, the regular season champion at 6-0 and tournament runner-up, will be led by a pair of returning all-league selections in Gustavo Guerin and Serge Ristivojevic.
The Golden Eagles look to defend their title from a year ago by returning a league-high three all-league honorees from last season. The trio of Igor Sobolta, Dmitry Suslov and Mikhail Trukshanin are among the six returnees for ORU.
IUPUI, which finished in a tie for second during the regular season and qualified for the league tournament, returns a league-best six starters from a year ago. Western Illinois, a league tournament participant a year ago, has a new head coach in Chris Kane and will be led on the court by 2010 Newcomer of the Year Jeff Cote.
IPFW was the unanimous choice in the women's poll, receiving eight first-place votes (coaches cannot vote for their own team) for 64 points. Oral Roberts, runner-up a year ago, had 52 points to edge Southern Utah, which totaled 49, for second position, followed by UMKC at 44. Western Illinois placed fifth followed by IUPUI, South Dakota State, Oakland and Centenary.
The Mastodons, who won their first Summit League Championship and compiled a perfect 8-0 league mark last season for Coach of the Year Eric Burns, return five players, including three all-league selections. Three-time defending Summit League Player of the Year Amy Recht takes aim at becoming the first player in any sport in league history to sweep the top honor in all four seasons. The 'Dons also return All-Summit selections Ingrid Ballus and Raquel Vescovi to the lineup.
ORU has four returnees from last season's squad that went 7-1 in league play and finished as runner-up at the league tournament. Headlining the Golden Eagles this season will be 2010 Newcomer of the Year Lina Semenova and fellow all-league selection Ekaterina Kondrashova.
Southern Utah, a league tournament qualifier with a fourth-place finish a year ago, is led by all-league selection Ksusha Nazarova. UMKC, which finished third and claimed its first league tournament berth last season, returns three all-league honorees in Laura Bouet, Eva Dalvai and Jillian Yakominich.
The 2011 Summit League schedule begins March 17 in Las Vegas with the first of three women's clusters. Men's league play begins March 19. The Summit League Tennis Championships will be hosted by IPFW, April 23-24, in Fort Wayne, Ind.
2011 Summit League Preseason Men's Tennis Poll
Rank School (first-place votes)
1. UMKC (3)
2. Oral Roberts (3)
4. Western Illinois
6. South Dakota State
2011 Summit League Preseason Women's Tennis Poll
Rank School (1first-place votes)
1. IPFW (8)
2. Oral Roberts
3. Southern Utah (1)
5. Western Illinois
7. South Dakota State