Drake favored for 2019 men’s tennis title

Drake picked in preseason coaches poll to win the 2019 men's tennis title.
Drake picked in preseason coaches poll to win the 2019 men's tennis title.

By: Aubrie Laufenberg
 
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –The defending 2018 Summit League Men's Tennis champion, Drake, is favored for the second consecutive year to claim the title according to the preseason poll of league head coaches. This is only the second season that Drake has been an affiliate member of the league.

The Bulldogs totaled 36 points and received six of seven possible first-place votes.  Not far behind Drake was Denver, claiming the No. 2 spot with a total of 31 points and the remaining first-place vote.

Last year's runner-up, Valparaiso, earned 21 points to edge Omaha (20) and claim the No. 3 spot. Illinois State (19) took the No. 5 spot as Oral Roberts (7) and league newcomer North Dakota (7) tied for the No. 6 spot to round out the poll.

2018-19 SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON POLL

 

Team

Score (1st place votes)

1.

Drake

36 (6)

2.

Denver

31 (1)

3.

Valparaiso

21

4.

Omaha

20

5.

Illinois State

19

T-6.

Oral Roberts

7

T-6.

North Dakota

7

 

MEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON ATHLETES TO WATCH LIST

Vinny Gillespie | Drake | Senior

  • Finished the 2017-18 season ranked 17th in the Central Region
  • Named 2018 All-League

James Davis | Denver | Sophomore

  • An Oklahoma Sooner transfer
  • Finished with a 3-1 mark in singles play and 12-7 in doubles during the spring season
  • Earned an 8-5 singles mark during the fall season, advancing to the Round of 32 at the ITA Central Regional Championships

Mattia Ros | Denver | Sophomore

  • Finished 5-2 in the league last season in singles play
  • Earned a 7-7 mark in singles play during the fall last season

Chad Kissell | Valparaiso | Senior

  • Posted a 17-14 record in singles and 19-11 in doubles play during 2017-18
  • Finished his junior year eighth in program history in career singles wins (65) and seventh in career doubles wins (61)
  • 2018 All-League performer

Abdoul Ouattara | Omaha | Junior

  • A 2018 All-League honoree
  • Finished last season with a team-best singles record of 16-7 overall (5-1 Summit League) at the No. 2 spot
  • Had the most singles wins in the league in 2018

Davis Lawley | Omaha | Freshman

  • Won the North Dakota state singles championships his senior year
  • As a senior, went 23-0 in singles, 46-0 in sets and 276-4 in games

Diego Le Gal Perez | Illinois State | Sophomore

  • Won the 2017 Madrid doubles' junior championship
  • In 2017, ranked in the top-10 among juniors and the top-100 among men, according to the Spanish national rankings

Nikola Boskov | Oral Roberts | Freshman

  • Won the regional championship in Bavaria
  • Claimed the National Prize-Money Tournament Championship in the men's category

Lukas Buth | North Dakota | Junior

  • Played in 14 singles matches at the No. 1 position and posted a .500 record during the 2017-18 season
  • Recorded a 7-6 mark in the No. 1 spot in doubles play last season

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ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE

Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.

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