PAWTUCKET, R.I.—UMass Boston men's tennis was picked to finish second in the Little East Conference Coaches' Preseason Poll, the league office announced Wednesday afternoon.
The Beacons earned 44 points and one of the eight first-place votes to edge out third-place UMass Dartmouth (43 points, one first-place vote) and fourth-place Rhode Island College (42 points, one first-place vote).
Defending LEC Tournament Champions Salem State University took home five first-place votes and 53 total points to earn first-place in the poll. The Vikings defeated LEC Regular Season Champions UMass Boston 5-1 in the LEC Finals, to earn their second-ever LEC Tournament Title.
Western Connecticut State University (28 points), Bridgewater State University (24 points), Castleton University (21 points) and the University of Southern Maine (14 point) rounded out the bottom four in the poll.
UMass Boston is aiming for their third-straight LEC Regular Season Title and second trip to the NCAA Tournament in three seasons this spring.
First-year head coach Charles Lai ('15) will lead one of the most talented and deepest rosters in program history.
The Beacons could feature as many as four former All-Conference players, in addition to bringing in a very strong incoming class.
UMass Boston brings back junior captain Onkgopotse Mokoka (Pretoria, South Africa) and senior Tin Tran (Saigon, Vietnam) who both have earned LEC All-Conference doubles honors in their career. Senior Ray Platteel (Holbrook, Mass.) will look to put together another strong campaign, after missing parts of his junior season due to an injury.
2017 LEC Rookie of the Year Alexander Comerchero (Brookline, Mass.) also makes his return, after not playing last season. Comerchero posted 17 wins as a freshman, including a 10-1 mark in LEC play.
In addition to their strong core of returners, UMass Boston will rely heavily on freshmen Nandish Shah (Ahmedabad, India) and Roy Platteel (Holbrook, Mass.). The freshmen duo each played in the top three of the Beacons' singles lineup in the fall, and they each recorded their first career singles victories in the fall.
UMass Boston will open the 2019 portion of their schedule on March 9, when they travel to take on Endicott College at 6 p.m. The Beacons will travel to take on Salem State University two weeks later, when the two teams meet in Salem for a rematch of the 2018 LEC Championship Match.