WAUKESHA, Wis. – Since the conference began in 2007, Men's Tennis in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference has been dominated by Concordia University Wisconsin. The Falcons have won six of seven regular season championships, including three straight, and are the only team to win the NACC Tournament, which began in 2011.
The league's coaches and sports information directors see things no differently this year as CUW was tabbed for another league championship. The Falcons received 18 of 20 first-place votes and earned 198 points in the poll.
MSOE was second in the poll with 160 points, while Aurora University was picked third with 148 points. Edgewood College picked up the last two first-place votes for the fourth spot with 145 points, followed by Wisconsin Lutheran College (134), Dominican University (105) and Concordia University Chicago (81). Lakeland College, Marian University and Rockford University rounded out the final three spots with 56, 46 and 27 points, respectively.
CUW enters the 2014 season having won 27 regular season conference matches in a row. The Falcons also return a bevy of talent this spring, led by 2013 NACC Player of the Year, senior Russell Johnson (Monticello, Minn.). Johnson went 9-0 in conference matches a season ago, playing as the Falcons top singles player.
Also back in the fold this spring is 2013 First Team All-NACC selection Skip Turner (Eau Claire, Wis.). The senior was 7-1 in No. 2 singles matches last season as he and Johnson were a formidable duo atop Falcons rotation.
Seniors Tanner Hahn (Reedsburg, Wis.), Ryan Buffamonte (Kenosha, Wis.) and Garrett Wells (Aurora, Ill.) are others who have seen varsity experience in years past and can be expected the Falcons as they attempt for a fourth-straight league title.
CUW will begin its 2014 spring schedule next Friday when they host St. Mary's University in non-conference play at the Paley Tennis Center. The Falcons open conference play April 5, traveling to face both Rockford University and Aurora University.
The NACC regular season standings determine the teams that qualify for the six-team conference tournament, while the tourney champion receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA III Championship Tournament.
2014 NACC Preseason Coaches and SIDs Poll
1. Concordia Wisconsin (18), 198
2. MSOE, 160
3. Aurora, 148
4. Edgewood (2), 145
5. Wisconsin Lutheran, 134
6. Dominican, 105
7. Concordia Chicago, 81
8. Lakeland, 56
9. Marian, 46
10. Rockford, 27