MELBOURNE - Florida Southern has been tabbed to finish sixth in the Preseason Sunshine State Conference Men's Tennis Coaches' Poll that was released Tuesday afternoon.
The Moccasins, who finished 2015 with an overall record of 5-19 and a 1-5 mark in the SSC, earned 12 points in the preseason poll. Florida Southern was selected three points behind No. 5 Florida Tech (15 points) and six points in front of No. 7 Eckerd (6 points).
The preseason poll was conducted by the head men's tennis coaches of the SSC, and they weren't allowed to vote for their own teams.
Defending NCAA Division II national champion Barry was tabbed as the favorite in the preseason poll as the Buccaneers, who have won three of the last five national titles in men's tennis, earned four first place votes and 34 points. Saint Leo was tabbed second as the Lions earned three first place votes and 31 points, while Lynn was selected third as the Fighting Knights earned the final first place vote and 27 points and Rollins was tabbed fourth as the Tars earned 22 points.
Ninth-year head coach Trey Heath welcomes back five of his top six players from last season's squad and has added three key newcomers, including two transfers and a freshman. Among the key returners for the Mocs are juniors Laurent Mailloux (Montreal, Quebec) and Fabian Lundberg (Akersberga, Sweden), who won a combined nine matches playing at the top two spots in the singles line-up and 16 in doubles last season.
The Mocs open their 2016 spring season on Friday, Feb. 5 with a 2:30 p.m. match in DeLand against NCAA Division I foe, Steston. FSC's first home match of the spring campaign is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 6 as the Mocs host Flagler in a 1 p.m. match at the Wynee Warden Tennis Center.
This year's SSC Tournament is scheduled to begin on April 28 in Tampa, while the NCAA Regionals are scheduled to begin on May 7. The NCAA Division II National Championships are slated to begin on May 18 in Denver, Colo., as part of the NCAA Division II 2016 Spring Championships Festival.
2016 SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE PRESEASON MEN'S TENNIS POLL
Rank - Team, Points (First-Place votes)
1 - Barry, 34 (4)
2 - Saint Leo, 31 (2)
3 - Lynn, 27 (1)
4 - Rollins, 22
5 - Florida Tech, 15
6 - Florida Southern, 12
7 - Eckerd, 6