Jan. 16, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Army men's tennis team was selected to finish first among nine schools in the Patriot League Preseason Men's Tennis Poll, which was announced Thursday afternoon. The Black Knights garnered 121 points and nine first-place votes on ballots submitted by the league's head coaches and sports information directors who were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
Army went 16-7 a season ago, and finished atop the Patriot League after posting a 6-0 conference record in the regular season. The Black Knights earned a first-round bye in the league tournament before bowing out to eventual tournament champion Navy, 4-3, in the semifinals.
Army returns three All-Patriot League players from 2012, including 2012 Patriot League Player of the Year Asika Isoh. The senior went 14-5 in singles dual matches as the team's primary option at the No. 1, while going 16-3 in doubles. Sophomores Caison Best and Harrison McCormick both return to the court after drawing Patriot League Second-Team honors last year. Head coach Jim Poling returns for his 12th season after averaging more than 16 wins over his first 11 campaigns.
Navy was selected second, garnering 109 points and five first-place votes after winning the Patriot League Championship and finishing second in the regular season a year ago. Lehigh followed with a third-place selection, receiving 103 points and four first-place nods, while Bucknell (76) and Boston University (75) rounded out the top five. Colgate (63) was picked sixth, followed by Loyola (50), Lafayette (35) and Holy Cross (16). Patriot League men's tennis expands from seven to nine schools after Boston University and Loyola joined the conference across all sports starting in the 2013-14.
Army will kick off its dual schedule with a match against Monmouth on Feb. 1. Following home matches against Niagara, Stony Brook and Connecticut, the Black Knights will host the Army Shootout Feb. 22-23, featuring matches against Binghamton, Drexel and St. Bonaventure. Army's first Patriot League match is slated for March 22 when Lafayette and Holy Cross make the trip to West Point.
Preseason Patriot League Men's Tennis Poll
1. Army - 121 points (9 first-place votes)
2. Navy - 109 (5)
3. Lehigh - 103 (4)
4. Bucknell - 76
5. Boston University - 75
6. Colgate - 63
7. Loyola - 50
8. Lafayette - 35
9. Holy Cross - 16