UMES MEN'S TENNIS PICKED TO FINISH FOURTH, WOMEN'S TENNIS FIFTH IN THE MEAC NORTHERN DIVISION
Jan. 10, 2012
NORFOLK, VA. - The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference released its 2012 men's and women's tennis preseason predictions on Tuesday, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore tennis program saw its first selections of the Dr. James Heimdal era. For the second consecutive year, the men were predicted to finish fourth, while the women held down fifth-place.
The two squads look to blend a mixture of veteran leadership and promising rookie talent to this year's competition. Heimdal, who takes over for Harold Fowler, heads into the spring with many new initiatives, several of which could make UMES the surprise tennis program of the 2012 season.
The poll was comprised of ballots from participating MEAC schools, where sports information directors and MEAC coaches each had the opportunity to vote.
For the men, Howard University (217 points) received 13 first-place votes to secure the preseason top spot in the North Division. The Bison, who were 4-0 in the MEAC last year, have won the North Division each of the past three seasons. Hampton University (184 points) and Morgan State University (175 points) were selected to finish second and third, respectively.
The UMES men's team (fourth-place) received 136 points in the North Division, eight higher than fifth-place Coppin State University.
For the women, Howard (297 points) was picked to repeat in 2012 as its 21 first-place votes make them the team to beat in the North. Hampton was not far behind with 227 points and three first-place votes, while Delaware State (218 points) had one first-place vote and was third. Morgan State (177 points) was selected fourth.
UMES received 150 points to land in fifth-place, while Coppin State rounded out the competition with 146 points in sixth.
In the Southern Division, South Carolina State received the most points in both polls. The Bulldogs collected 309 points on the men's side, while the women had 219 altogether. Last season, the men were 15-3 overall, including a 3-0 mark in MEAC play. The Lady Bulldogs went 19-2, 4-0 in the MEAC in 2011.
The 2012 MEAC Tennis Championship tournament is slated to take place on April 13-15 at the Milbrook Tennis Center in Raleigh, N.C.