High Point, NC> The Anderson University men’s tennis team has been voted the preseason top team in Conference Carolinas by league head coaches. Anderson also enters the spring ranked No. 15 in the ITA poll.
"This is a good indication for our team," said Anderson head coach Andre Ivarsson, who is in his first season at AU. "It shows how much respect we are getting, respect I believe is completely deserved. I believe we will be a very tough team to beat. There is a lot of talent on this squad, and I believe that we can beat a lot of good teams."
In the individual rankings, Philip Pakebusch, AU's No. 1 player and last year's ITA Rookie of the Year, is ranked No. 12. In the doubles rankings, Pakebusch and Renato Assuncao are ranked No. 6. Pakebusch and Assuncao reached the championship match of the ITA Mid-Atlantic Regional in October. In the regional rankings, Anderson is ranked No. 5, Pakebusch is No. 6 in singles, and Pakebusch and Assuncao are No. 2 in doubles.
The Limestone College men’s tennis team was ranked second in the preseason poll. The Saints are coming off a very successful 2008 season, finishing 16-8 overall and were second in the final conference regular season standings with an 8-1 record. Following the fall 2008 season, the team was ranked No. 31 in the ITA’s national rankings. The squad is also ranked No. 9 in the Southeast region
Limestone returns four starters from last season, including All-Conference honorees Phillippe Hogan and Thomas Ollivier. At the Conference Carolinas Individual Tournament in September Ollivier won the “A” singles flight and Hogan and Ollivier combined to win the “A” doubles flight. The Saints have also added two talented newcomers and will look to build on last year’s accomplishments.
The Lees-McRae College men’s tennis team was voted third in the preseason poll. The 39th ranked Bobcats have returned a solid core of players who finished last season with a 14-12 overall record and 6-3 conference record. Senior Aleksander Mojski, junior Shaun Sumner, and sophomore Nandor Solymosi hope to propel the Bobcats to the next level. These three returnees will lead a strong class of freshman who all have the capability to make an impact in the lineup at anytime during the season.
Head Coach Paul Goode has high expectations of this team in 2009 and expects great things from them this spring. “I am always trying to get the best out of each player I coach,” Goode said. “I sincerely believe in this game, the best players the ones who are never satisfied with where they are."
Rounding out the men's tennis preseason poll 4-9 is: Mount Olive, Queens, Pfeiffer, Barton, Erskine and Coker respectively.