The inaugural CTO/MDTA Division 1 Men’s Coaches Poll has been released and the coaches are going with the defending champion Virginia Cavaliers
as their preseason #1. Brian Boland’s squad returns 4 starters (Alex Domijan, #3 Mitchell Frank, #94 Mac Styslinger, Ryan Shane) and a few key role players (#115 Justin Shane, Harrison Richmond) from last year’s squad and will also welcome in another stellar freshmen class made up of #43 Jordan Daigle, #107 JC Aragone, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (#13 ITF Jr), and Luca Corinteli (#35 ITF Jr). The 2 departing starters from last year were Jarmere Jenkins, who played #1 singles, and Julen Uriguen, who played at #6 singles.
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Coming in at #2 are the UCLA Bruins
. Billy Martin’s Bruins return 5 starters (#1 Clay Thompson, #11 Marcos Giron, Adrien Puget, Dennis Mkrtchian, #64 Karue Sell) from last year’s NCAA Runner-Up team with Dennis Novikov (turned pro) the sole departure. Martin has brought in a great freshmen class highlighted by Mackenzie McDonald (#62) and Gage Brymer (#120) to complement the returning starters.
Peter Smith’s USC Trojans
come in at #3. USC returns 5 starters (#10 Ray Sarmiento, #32 Yannick Hanfmann, #113 Roberto Quiroz, Eric Johnson, Max DeVroome) from last year’s NCAA Quarterfinal team with Emilio Gomez (turned pro) the lone departure. #67 Jonny Wang and #70 Michael Grant both had a strong fall and will be looking to crack the starting lineup along with a pair of freshmen in Rob Bellamy and Nick Crystal.
comes in at #4 with Manny Diaz’s Bulldogs set to host the NCAAs again in May. Diaz returns 5 starters (#48 Ben Wagland, #12 Austin Smith, #21 Nathan Pasha, Hernus Pieters, #47 Garrett Brasseaux) from last year’s NCAA Semifinal squad with the lone departure being Marco Nunez (transferred to Florida State) and the Bulldogs also welcome in 2 freshmen that just arrived on campus in Wayne Montgomery (#7 ITF Jr) and Paul Oosterbaan. #102 Nick Wood, who missed most of last year with an ankle injury, will be a contributor as well.
Rounding out the top 5 are the Ohio State Buckeyes
. Ty Tucker’s Buckeyes return 2 starters (#31 Peter Kobelt, Chris Diaz) from last year’s NCAA Semifinal squad but they’ll need to replace 3 of their top 4 with Connor Smith and Devin McCarthy graduating and NCAA Singles Champ Blaz Rola turning pro. Hunter Callahan and Kevin Metka return from last year’s squad and will be joined by 4 newcomers in Marko Goles-Babic, Herkko Pollanen (#16 ITF Jr), Matt Mendez, and Riley Reist. Redshirt freshman Ralf Steinback will look to make his debut as well.
Tennessee, Baylor, Duke, Oklahoma, and Kentucky fill spots 6-10, Texas A&M, Mississippi, Pepperdine, Florida, and Vanderbilt are 11-15, Mississippi State, California, South Carolina, Texas, and Wake Forest are 16-20, and Illinois, Memphis, LSU, Clemson, and Tulsa come in at 21-25.
Other teams receiving votes but missing out on the top 25 are Michigan, Harvard, Auburn, VCU, Drake, North Carolina
, Notre Dame, Alabama, Columbia, and South Florida.
The MDTA (Men’s Division 1 Tennis Association) was formed last year to provide a forum for Men’s D1 Coaches to discuss issues that are unique and special to Division 1 Men’s Tennis; for more information about the MDTA you can visit their website at www.mensdivisiononetennis.org. All Division I Men’s Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches are eligible to vote in the poll though they cannot vote for their respective team. The next coaches poll will be released on January 21st and then they’ll be one released every 2 weeks after that throughout the spring.