Western Michigan Women, Ball State Men Favored In Tennis Polls

Updated 2/10/2000

Cleveland (Feb. 10) -- In the Mid-American Conference preseason tennis polls released today, the Western Michigan University women's team was tabbed to defend its title, while Ball State was given a slight edge to dethrone defending men's champion WMU. The poll was conducted among head coaches of the MAC schools.

The Broncos women's team received 92 points and seven of the 10 first-place votes for the regular-season title and eight of 10 votes to win the championship. Marshall was a close second with 86 points, two first-place votes and one vote to win the MAC tournament. Miami is also expected to mount a strong challenge and was awarded 81 points, one first-place vote and one tournament title vote.

Four members of the 1999 All-MAC first team return and five from the All-MAC second team are back. Sophomores Larissa Chinwah from Western Michigan and Anna Mitina from Marshall both earned first-team all-league status last year as freshmen and are back to lead the league's top-ranked teams.

Other all-league players back are senior Anna Wilden of Northern Illinois and Simone Duhme of Eastern Michigan, both first-teamers, and second-team selections Gena Tranquada and Libby Gerding of Ball State, Meghan Rhodes and Abby Bratton of Bowling Green and Miami's Ivona Grujic.

On the men's side, Ball State earned 40 points and three of the six first-place votes, with Western Michigan (2) and Bowling Green (1) also receiving top recognition. The tournament balloting numbers were an exact reflection of the first-place voting with Ball State receiving three, Western Michigan two and Bowling Green one.

While All-MAC first-team member Fernandez Garcia returns to lead the Broncos' men's team, Ball State features two second-team all-league returnees in sophomores Jason Pressel and Andrew Seni. Other All-MAC men's players back for 2000 are second-team selections Vitek Wild of Bowling Green and Jason Yue of Eastern Michigan.

The men's side will feature just seven teams for the 2000 competition as Miami dropped its men's tennis program last spring.


Women (10 ballots received)
School (1st-place votes)	Points	
1. Western Michigan (7)		92
2. Marshall (2)			86
3. Miami (1)			81
4. Eastern Michigan		70
5. Ball State			65
6. Bowling Green		59
7. Northern Illinois		45
8. Toledo			28
9. Akron			20
10. Buffalo			14

To win Tournament: 
WMU (8), Marshall (1), Miami (1).


Men (6 ballots received)
School (1st-place votes)	Points	
1. Ball State (3)		40
2. Western Michigan (2)		36	
3. Bowling Green (1)		31
4. Toledo			24
5. Northern Illinois		18
6. Eastern Michigan		13
7. Buffalo			6

To win tournament: 
Ball State (3), WMU (2), BGSU (1).