GCC lands top spot while WC ranks 5th on PAC men’s tennis preseason poll

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GREENVILLE, Pa. (pacathletics.org)--Grove City College was selected as the favorite to claim this year’s Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) men's tennis title, according to the league's preseason coaches' poll, which was released Tuesday along with the league's Players to Watch list.

The annual preseason poll collects votes from each of the conference's eight head coaches.

Led by second-year head coach Henry Boyle, Grove city headlines this year’s preseason poll after collecting five first-place votes and 47 points. 

Grove City owns 27 PAC championships, including 26 straight from 1991-2016.

Washington & Jefferson College and eighth-year head coach Chris Faulk secured the remaining three first-place votes and 45 points to finish second. Saint Vincent College, led by third-year head coach Brian Niemiec, was third in the poll with 34 points.

Geneva College was selected fourth (32) and was followed by Westminster College in fifth (22), Waynesburg University in sixth (21), Thiel College in seventh (12)and Bethany College in eighth (11).  

The players to watch list features nine returning All-PAC performers, including six members of the All-PAC First Team.

W&J junior Nate Wang (Venetia, Pa. | Peters Township) headlines this year's list after claiming PAC Player of the Year honors in 2019. He is W&J's fifth PAC Player of the Year, and first since Faulk earned the honor in 2010. At the No.1 singles spot last season Wang went 13-3 overall and 7-0 in league matches. He partnered with Sam Bellini (Pittsburgh, Pa. | Mount Lebanon) to post a 12-4 mark at the No. 1 doubles spot while finishing the season 7-0 against PAC opposition. 

For the second year, the PAC Championship Tournament will feature a team championship bracket format, with a quarterfinal round, a semifinal round and a championship match contested in late April. Prior to the league's championship tournament last spring, the PAC had sponsored a flighted championship, with individual players and doubles pairings exclusively seeded and not based on a team's finish, since awarding its first conference title in 1956.

The league’s regular season is scheduled to conclude Sunday, April 18 with the quarterfinals of this year’s PAC Championship Tournament slated for Tuesday, April 21. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, April 24 with the championship match taking place on Saturday, April 25.

While quarterfinal matches will be hosted by the championship tournament's top four seeds, the semifinals and championship match will be held at W&J's on-campus Janet Swanson Tennis Center, which has served as the home site for the Presidents’ tennis teams since 2015.

This year’s team champion will secure the PAC’s automatic qualifying bid to the 2020 NCAA Division III Championships. Thirty-four conferences will be granted automatic qualification (Pool A) to this year's Division III Championships.  

Team selections for the Division III Championships will be announced on Monday, May 4 with first-, second- and third-round matches slated for Friday-Sunday, May 8-10. 

2020 PAC Men's Tennis Preseason Coaches' Poll
School (first-place votes)Points2019 Records
1. Grove City (5)4711-9 (6-1 PAC)
2. W&J (3)4515-4 (7-0 PAC)
3. Saint Vincent3413-4 (5-2 PAC)
4. Geneva326-10 (2-5 PAC)
5. Westminster221-13 (1-6 PAC)
6. Waynesburg218-7 (3-4 PAC)
7. Thiel121-11 (0-7 PAC)
8. Bethany1111-6 (4-3 PAC)

2020 PAC Men's Tennis Players to Watch

NameYr.Hometown | High School
Geoffrey FosterSo.McKinney, Texas | Cleburne
Nick SimpsonFr.Fisher, W.Va. | Moorefield


NameYr.Hometown | High School
Alex BeckJr.Stafford, Va. | Colonial Forge
Drake GreensteinJr.Austin, Texas | Stephen F. Austin
Nate HeidengrenJr.Aliquippa, Pa. | Beaver County Christian


Grove City
NameYr.Hometown | High School
Karsten LagerquistSo.Pittsburgh, Pa. | Fox Chapel 
Andrew RodenbeckSo.Beaver Falls, Pa. | Blackhawk
Ryne TalkoFr.Cresson, Pa. | Bishop Guilfoyle 


Saint Vincent
NameYr.Hometown | High School
Josh BolandSo.Pittsburgh, Pa. | Plum
Jon OskinSr.Erie, Pa. | Fairview
Mauricio SanchezSo.Barquisimeto, Venezuela | San Vincente de Paul


NameYr.Hometown | High School
Haruto KurodaFr.Himeji-shi, Japan
Connor SwattsSr.Greenwood, Ind. | Whiteland Community


NameYr.Hometown | High School
Sam BelliniJr.Pittsburgh, Pa. | Mount Lebanon
Nate WangJr.Venetia, Pa. | Peters Township


NameYr.Hometown | High School
Conor CassidySo.Huntingtown, Md. | Huntingtown
Joe EnglishSo.Smithfield, Pa. | Homeschooled


NameYr.Hometown | High School
Miguel AscencioJr.Venetia, Pa. | Peters Township
Alec GeorgescuJr.Hermitage, Pa. | Hickory
Logan MannhiermerSo.South Park, Pa. | South Park
Alec RichJr.Trafford, Pa. | Penn-Trafford

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