HAMDEN, Conn. - The Northeast Conference's men's tennis coaches have picked Quinnipiac to finish second in the league, the conference office today announced. The Bobcats, which advanced to the NEC Tournament Semifinals a year ago, earned three first-place votes. Defending champion Sacred Heart took five first-place votes and the top spot in the poll, while perennial NEC power Fairleigh Dickinson took the final first-place vote and the third position.
Monmouth, Mount St. Mary's, Robert Morris, Saint Francis (Pa.), St. Francis (N.Y.) and Wagner rounded out the poll.
The Bobcats return the top five singles players from last season. Leading the group is junior Brian Mikkelson (Mequon, Wis.), who has ascended to the top of the Quinnipiac line-up this season after earning All-NEC First Team honors in 2009 at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. Senior captain John Hughes (Springfield, Mass.), a two-time All-NEC selection and five-time NEC Player of the Week, also returns to provide leadership to the Bobcats.
Sophomore Garrett Lane (Reading, Mass.) was a Second-Team All-NEC selection last season after posting an 11-4 mark out of the No. 3 flight. Sophomore James Kwei (Dedham, Mass.) returns as a versatile performer at both singles and doubles. He paired with Mikkelson to earn All-NEC First Team honors at No. 1 doubles last season and won a team-high 10 singles matches this fall.
Freshman Andrew Weeden (Martinsville, N.J.) and senior captain Charlie Feldman (Easton, Conn.) provide the Bobcats with great depth at the back end of the singles line-up. Weeden showed potential as powerful player in the Bobcats' line-up this fall, winning a pair of NEC Rookie of the Week Awards and one NEC Player of the Week Award while going 8-2 in singles. Feldman is a seasoned veteran with more than 80 career victories.
Junior Dillon Kraus (Bayside, N.Y.) and freshmen Alex Lazerowich (Stratham, N.H.), Chris Nelson (Scituate, Mass.) and Justin Gerstl (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) provide the Bobcats with great depth this season.
The Bobcats commence the 2010 portion of their schedule, Feb. 27, at the University of Hartford. Matches are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.