SAC Coaches Preseason Poll
Rank School (First-place) Points
1 Anderson (5) 90
2 Wingate (2) 87
3 Lincoln Memorial (2) 81
4 Brevard (1) 56
t-5 Mars Hill 52
t-5 Tusculum 52
7 Catawba 47
8 Carson-Newman 46
9 Lenoir-Rhyne 21
10 Newberry 18

Anderson Athletics

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Anderson University is the favorite to win the 2011 South Atlantic Conference men's tennis championship in a vote of the league's head coaches, the conference announced.

Anderson received five first-place votes and 90 total points. The Trojans are playing in their first season in the South Atlantic Conference after going 13-8 last season and making the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans are led by Stan Atema, a preseason all-conference second-team selection.

Wingate, which finished the 2010 season in second place, is picked to finish second again. The Bulldogs, received two first-place votes and 87 total points. Wingate placed four players on the preseason all-conference team. Matt Lichtenstein, Braeden Patchell, and Flavio Rathsam all were picked to the first team, while Drew Owen was on the second team.

Lincoln Memorial is picked to finish third after receiving two first-place votes and 81 total points. Philipp Hoffmann, the 2010 SAC Men's Tennis Freshman of the Year, paces the Railsplitters earning first-team preseason all-conference honors, while Tom Goosens was a second-team pick. The Railsplitters are the defending conference and SAC Tournament champions.

Brevard received one first-place vote and 56 total points to finish fourth in the preseason poll. The Tornados placed three on the preseason all-conference team. Scott McCormick, a 2010 first team player, was picked to the preseason first team, while Cole Altizer and Shane Apps were selected to the second team.

Mars Hill College and Tusculum College tied for fifth place with 52 points each. The Lions are led by second team preseason All-Conference selection Lucas Simm. The Pioneers placed four on the preseason all-conference team. Steven Lin and Luis Zamora were selected to the preseason all-conference first team, while Drew Kiser and Oliver Smith were both placed on the second team. 

Catawba College received 47 total points to finish seventh in the voting. Carson-Newman College received 46 points for eighth in the preseason poll. Trent Slagle is a first team preseason all-conference pick for the Eagles. Lenoir-Rhyne University is predicted to finish ninth in the standings after receiving 21 total points. 

Newberry rounds out the poll with 18 points. First-year coach Mark Gardiner has a roster of all freshmen.

The top six teams in the conference standings at the end of the season advance to the 2011 SAC Tournament. The tournament will be at the Rock Hill Tennis Center in Rock Hill, S.C. Quarterfinals will be Wednesday, April 20, with the semifinals on Thursday, April 21. The championship match will be Friday, April 22.