MILWAUKEE, Wis. --- Defending champion Concordia University Wisconsin has been selected as the favorite in the race for the 2019 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) men's tennis title according to the preseason poll, voted on by the league's head coaches and sports information directors.
The Falcons (15-12, 8-0 NACC) 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 decision to Grinnell in the first round. CUW tallied 193 points and received 13 of 20 first-place votes to edge NACC debutant Illinois Institute of Technology by seven points.
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 -- Concordia Wisconsin, Illinois Tech, Aurora and MSOE -- have already kicked off their regular seasons. 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 competition 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.
2019 NACC Men's Tennis Preseason Poll
First-place votes in parentheses
|Concordia Wisconsin (13)||193|
|Illinois Tech (7)||186|