Valparaiso University's men's tennis team has been picked to finish third in the Mid-Continent Conference for the 2005 season according to the preseason poll as selected by the league's head coaches.
Head coach Jim Daugherty's squad is coming off of a 6-15 season overall and a 3-3 mark in Mid-Con play, finishing in fourth place in 2004. The Crusaders earned one first place vote and 28 total points in the league poll. Valpo split a pair of dual matches during the fall season, along with playing in several tournaments.
Oral Roberts, last year's conference tournament champion, was selected as the preseason favorite, followed by IUPUI, last season's regular season title holder. Western Illinois was tabbed fourth, followed by UMKC, Chicago State, and Centenary.
First place votes earned six points in the poll on a scale that saw one point issued for a sixth place pick. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
The Crusaders will open up their 2005 regular season on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders travel to Muncie, Ind. to battle Ball State. First serve is set for 2 p.m. CST.
2005 Mid-Continent Conference Preseason Poll ? Men's Tennis
1. Oral Roberts (4) - 31
2. IUPUI (2) - 29
3. Valparaiso (1) - 28
4. Western Illinois - 22
5. UMKC - 18
6. Chicago State - 12
7. Centenary - 7
(First place votes in parentheses)