Jan. 22, 2010
The No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers were selected to win the overall regular season Southeastern Conference title in the tennis coaches preseason poll released Friday.
The Vols received 10 of the 12 first-place votes to finish first in the SEC. Tennessee was also picked to win the Eastern Division, finishing with 69 votes. Florida and Georgia, which each received one vote to win the overall regular season title, were chosen to finish in a tie for second in the East with 55 votes.
Four Vols are currently ranked by the ITA, including two-time All-America junior John-Patrick Smith at No. 2. Freshman Rhyne Williams (No. 22), senior Matt Brewer (No. 52) and junior Boris Conkic (No. 68) are also in the rankings. On Monday, Conkic won the singles title at the SEC Coaches Indoor Championships.
Three doubles teams are in the top 12: Smith and Conkic (No. 4), Smith and senior Davey Sandgren (No. 7) and Conkic and Williams (No. 12).
Sam Winterbotham, now in his fourth year as head coach for the Vols, has a 63-19 record. The team finished 23-7 last season and was eighth in the final rankings.
Tennessee kicks off the season Saturday with two matches at home against No. 62 ETSU at 10:30 a.m. and Chattanooga at 6 p.m.
The preseason poll is voted on by every SEC coach and is based on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 scale.
SEC Men's Tennis Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Tennessee, 69
T2. Florida, 55
T2. Georgia, 55
4. Kentucky, 37
5. Vanderbilt, 21
6. South Carolina, 15
1. Ole Miss 68
2. LSU 50
3. Auburn 40
4. Mississippi State 39
5. Alabama 38
6. Arkansas 17
Overall Regular Season Champion Tennessee (10 votes); Florida (1); Georgia (1).