Bobcats tabbed first in conference preseason poll

HIGH POINT, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College men's tennis team has been selected as the favorite to win the 2011 Conference Carolinas regular season title in a poll of the league's head coaches, announced conference officials Tuesday.

Lees-McRae received 62 points and seven of eight first place votes after the program claimed its second consecutive conference crown last season with a perfect 9-0 mark in league play. The Bobcats posted a 16-6 overall record in 2010, winning the conference tournament, punching the school's second straight NCAA Tournament ticket, then defeating league foe Anderson University in the first round of the NCAA Southeast Regional. Lees-McRae's magical run would end there, as the Bobcats fell to Armstrong Atlantic State University in the second round.

The Bobcats enter the 2011 season ranked No. 23 in the Campbell's/ITA NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Preseason Poll behind junior Nandor Solymosi (Drebecen, Hungary), who begins the season ranked 23rd in the nation among individuals and ninth in the region. The Drebecen, Hungary native enjoyed a tremendous season in 2010, securing his second straight all-Conference Carolinas First Team selection and ending the campaign ranked eighth in the region and 19th in the nation. For his efforts, Solymosi was named to the 2010 NCAA Division II ITA All-America Team for the first time in his career.

"It's going to be tough to meet the preseason expectations after losing four of the top six players from last year's conference championship team," said head coach Keith Turner. "I have some talented players on this year's team that I feel are ready to step into the lineup and take on the challenge of trying to repeat. It will be very important for seniors Solymosi and Travis Van Hoy to lead by example, and hopefully their experience carries over to the rest of the team."

Queens University of Charlotte is picked to finish second in the race for the 2010 regular season crown with 55 points, followed by Limestone College with 50 points and one first-place vote. Barton College is fourth with 44 points, followed by Mount Olive College (35), Pfeiffer University (26), Erskine College (25), Coker College (19), and Belmont Abbey College (eight).

Lees-McRae opens its season on Wednesday when the Bobcats travel to Belmont, N.C. to take on Belmont Abbey in a conference matchup. Play is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.

- LMC -

2011 Conference Carolinas Men's Tennis Preseason Poll

Rk. School (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Lees-McRae College (7) 62
2. Queens University of Charlotte 55
3. Limestone College (1) 50
4. Barton College 44
5. Mount Olive College 35
6. Pfeiffer University 26
7. Erskine College 25
8. Coker College 19
9. Belmont Abbey College 8