Tennis Bobcats picked to win MEC championship in preseason coaches poll


BRIDGEPORT — The West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats have been selected to win the 2020 Mountain East Conference men's tennis title after a vote by the league's coaches.

The Bobcats collected 47 points, including five first-place votes, to land on top of the poll.

West Virginia Wesleyan has won or shared the regular season title in each of the last four seasons and three of the last three tournament titles.

The Bobcats return five players from last year's team that finished ranked No. 50 by the ITA that earned All-MEC honors, including first-team selections Lukas Laipold, Carlos Dodero and Maycon Santos Dias. returns five players from last year's lineup that earned All-MEC honors.

WVWC will be led by head coach Tim Dunford, who took over the program in January after spending the last two seasons at King (Tenn.).

Charleston finished second in the poll with 45 points and had three first-place votes. The Golden Eagles also return a strong contingent to their lineup with the return of first-team All-MEC performers Alex Gracin and Ben Lakeman, as well as second-team honoree Joa Taylor. Lakeman and Taylor are ranked 11th in the country in doubles by the ITA.

Fairmont State was slotted third with 34 points. The Falcons will be led by senior Lucas Alves and Gui Pachane, as well as junior Joao Martins. The trio earned All-MEC honors last year with Alves earning first-team honors, and Pachane and Martins being second-team selections.

West Liberty was picked fourth with 32 points.

The Hilltoppers, led by first-year head coach Ronnie Hulewicz, have three returning starters from last year's team, and also added newcomer Florent Dulac, who was ranked 15th in the Atlantic Region after the fall.

Davis & Elkins was picked fifth with 27 points.

The Senators will lean on the play of Obert Matthew Mulyadi, who was the 2018 GMAC Freshman of the Year, and ranked 19th in the region in singles.

Frostburg State and Concord tied for sixth with 14 points each. West Virginia State rounded out the poll with 11 points.

The top five teams in the regular season advance to the MEC Tournament that will be held April 24-26 in Charleston, W.Va.

2020 MEC Men's Tennis Preseason Poll

1. West Virginia Wesleyan — 47 (5)

2. Charleston — 45 (3)

3. Fairmont State — 34

4. West Liberty — 32

5. Davis & Elkins — 27

6. Frostburg State — 14

    Concord — 14

8. West Virginia State —11

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