BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Ole Miss men’s tennis team was picked as the overall champion in the preseason Southeastern Conference coaches poll announced Thursday.
The Rebels, who began the spring ranked No. 13 in the nation, posted a 15-9 overall record, 7-4 in the SEC last year and advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the 16th time. Five of the top seven return including senior All-American Jonas Lutjen and 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year, Nik Scholtz.
“We’re very excited about this year’s team,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “The SEC is the toughest conference in the nation, and it’s an honor to be considered one of the top teams.”
Ole Miss was also voted as Western Division Champion with 74 points. Mississippi State was second with 63 points, while conference newcomer Texas A&M was third with 53 points. The remainder of the West was: 4. Auburn (46 points), 5. LSU (34 points), 6. Alabama (22 points), and Arkansas (16 points).
In the East, Georgia was voted as Division Champion with 65 points. The rest of the East was: 2. Tennessee (47 points), 3. Florida (42 points), 4. Kentucky (37 points), 5. Vanderbilt (27 points), 6. South Carolina (13 points).
The preseason poll is voted on by the men’s tennis head coach at each institution and is based on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 count in the East division and 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 in the West division. They also vote for the overall champion, with each vote counting as one point. Two coaches did not return ballots.
Several members of the team are in Desert Springs, Calif., this weekend competing in the 34th annual National Collegiate Tennis Classic.
2013 SEC Preseason Coaches Poll
Overall Regular Season Champion: Ole Miss (5 points); Georgia (3) Mississippi State (2), Vanderbilt (1).
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