The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team is projected to finish tied for third in the Summit League this spring, according to the preseason survey of the league’s head coaches that was released on Thursday.
After taking home the 2018-19 Summit League Player of the Year award, senior Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) was named to the league’s list of Preseason Athletes to Watch. Ancona, also the 2018-19 Valparaiso University Male Athlete of the Year, already ranks among the program’s all-time wins leaders.
After qualifying for the league tournament in each of the program’s first two years in the Summit League, the squad is once again expected to be part of the tournament field. The Brown & Gold are picked to tie for third with Omaha in the preseason poll, while Denver and Drake were pegged first and second, respectively. Illinois State (fifth), Oral Roberts (t-sixth) and North Dakota (t-sixth) round out the projections.
This year’s roster is comprised of all seniors and freshmen. An experienced and accomplished five-member senior class will be joined by a rookie trio to comprise a team that will be guided by veteran head coach Jim Daugherty, who is in his 35th season. The spring slate will commence on Saturday, Jan. 25 at Butler.
2019-20 SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON POLL
Team Score (1st place votes)
Denver 35 (5)
Drake 30 (1)
Omaha 22 (1)
Illinois State 14
Oral Roberts 11
North Dakota 11
MEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON ATHLETES TO WATCH LIST
Matt Summers | Denver | Junior
Evan Fragistas | Drake | Sophomore
Matt Hulme | Omaha | Junior
Brandon Ancona | Valparaiso | Senior
Nam Pham | Illinois State | Freshman
Geronimo Espin Gusleiman | Oral Roberts
Andreja Petrovic | North Dakota | Freshman