MEAC Announces Men's and Women's Tennis Preseason Honors
Howard University's men's and women's tennis teams and South Carolina State University's men's and women's tennis programs were predicted to win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) northern and southern divisional crowns, the conference announced on Monday. All honors were voted on by the conference's head tennis coaches and sports information directors.
On the men's side, the defending MEAC champion South Carolina State Bulldogs concluded the 2011 season with a 3-0 conference mark and 15-3 overall record en route to their third consecutive MEAC crown.
The Florida A&M Rattlers, who posted a perfect 2-1 MEAC record in 2011, and won the southern divisional title two years ago, were picked to finish second. Bethune-Cookman was chosen to finish third followed by Norfolk State in fourth and North Carolina Central in the fifth and final spot.
The Howard Bison were picked to win the northern divisional crown for the fourth straight year. The Bison posted an undefeated conference record (4-0) and were 5-10 overall a year ago.
Predicted to finish in second place in the northern division are the Hampton Pirates followed by Morgan State in third. Maryland Eastern Shore and Coppin State follow in the fourth and fifth spots.
The reigning MEAC women's champion, South Carolina State Lady Bulldogs earned the nod to capture the 2012 crown in the southern division. The Lady Bulldogs were 4-0 in MEAC play and 19-2 overall last season. Returning a number of veteran players and 2011 Rookie of the Year Akilah James, South Carolina State will look to extend their title victories to eight.
Florida A&M was chosen to finish second in the southern division. Last year, the Lady Rattlers recorded a 3-1 mark in MEAC play and finished 11-11 overall. Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina Central, Norfolk State, North Carolina A&T and Savannah State round out the southern division preseason predictions.
Howard, winners of last year's women's northern divisional crown, was picked to repeat in 2012. The Lady Bison posted a 5-0 mark in MEAC play and a 14-8 overall record last season.
The Hampton Lady Pirates (3-2 MEAC, 4-10 overall) were chosen to finish in second. Delaware State was picked to finish third followed by Morgan State, Maryland Eastern Shore, and Coppin State to complete the northern divisional predictions.The 2012 MEAC Tennis Championship tournament begins April 13-15 at the Millbrook Tennis Center in Raleigh, N.C.