NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Atlantic 10 Champion VCU has been predicted to win a second straight Atlantic 10 Men’s Tennis title, in a unanimous vote of the league’s 11 head coaches.
The Rams, ranked No. 31 preseason by the International Tennis Association (ITA), are led by 2013 Coach of the Year, Paul Kostin, and return All-Conference First Team selections Alexis Heugas and Alejandro Argente. VCU has big shoes to fill after graduating 2013 Most Outstanding Performer and Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Max Wennakoski, who finished with 88 career singles wins, fifth-most in VCU history. VCU survived a nearly five-hour long championship match with George Washington in the 2013 Championship to claim their first A-10 title, clinching the match with the doubles point.
The George Washington Colonials are predicted to finish second, returning 2013 Most Outstanding Rookie Performer, Danil Zelenkov, as well as All-Conference First Team selections, Francisco Dias and Nikita Fomin. Entering the spring season, the Colonials rank No. 74 in the ITA preseason rankings and will face at least five nationally-ranked opponents. GW has reached the A-10 title match each of the last four years and looks to claim its third conference crown since 2011.
Rounding out the top three is the University of Richmond, led by redshirt-junior Ethan Dunbar, an All-Conference First Team selection who finished 15-9 last season at No. 1 singles. The Spiders welcome six new faces to the lineup, including Ethan’s younger brother, Jacob Dunbar.
Duquesne is picked to finish fourth, followed by A-10 newcomer, George Mason (fifth). Fordham, Saint Joseph’s and Saint Louis are predicted to finish sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, followed by St. Bonaventure (ninth), Dayton (10th) and La Salle (11th).
The 2014 Atlantic 10 Men’s Tennis Championship will be held April 17-20 at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.
The Boar's Head Sports Club is host to both a Men's and a Women's USTA Pro Circuit tournament, the University of Virginia Teams, and ITA/NCAA Collegiate Championships.
2. George Washington
5. George Mason
7. Saint Joseph’s
8. Saint Louis
9. St. Bonaventure
11. La Salle