LANCASTER, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's tennis was pegged seventh in the Centennial Conference preseason poll, as announced by the league office Friday.
Johns Hopkins was the unanimous favorite of the conference's coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams. The Blue Jays received nine first-place votes and 81 points, with Swarthmore taking the other first-place vote and placing second with 73 points. Haverford (60 points) took third, with Franklin & Marshall (52) and Washington College (49) filling out the top five. Dickinson (48) was a close sixth, followed by Ursinus (34), Muhlenberg (25), Gettysburg (19), and McDaniel (9).
The Bears enter the 2019 campaign with a six-man lineup, giving each player the opportunity to compete in every match this season.
Sophomore Mason Groff headlines the roster for head coach Pete Smith, taking over atop the ladder after a terrific rookie season in which he posted a 15-3 record at number two doubles while going 6-6 (3-4 CC) at number two singles. Groff's doubles total was one shy of the single-season program record for wins.
Junior Connor DeFaber-Schumacher is coming off a strong season in which he finished 9-8 in singles (4-4 at fourth, 4-2 at fifth) and picked up 12 victories at third doubles, while freshman Simbarashe Kanjanda will immediately step into the top half of the lineup.
Sophomore Matt Fontanse won 17 combined matches as a rookie, including a 4-2 mark at number five singles and a 4-4 individual record in conference play. Senior Jake Lachowicz was 3-3 at sixth singles a year ago, and sophomore Kyle Bookman steps into the regular lineup for the first time after winning four matches last season.
The Bears play a rare doubleheader before heading to Florida for their annual spring break trip, taking on CC rival Swarthmore and Arcadia on March 2. The team will play four matches in Orlando before returning home to face Cabrini on March 20.