FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Huntingdon men's tennis team is ranked fourth and the Huntingdon women's tennis team is ranked fifth in the USA South preseason polls released on Thursday.
The Huntingdon men were 12-6 last season and reached the conference tournament semifinals for a second straight season. The Hawks totaled 67 points in the poll.
Seven-time defending conference champion North Carolina Wesleyan is the preseason favorite with 10 first-place votes and 100 points. The Battling Bishops are ranked 22nd nationally in the ITA Division III poll.
Methodist, the 2015 conference runner-up, is second in the poll with one first-place vote and 90 points.
Rounding out the top-6 of the men's poll are Piedmont in third with 77 points, Covenant in fifth with 63 points and Averett in sixth with 57 points.
The fifth-place Lady Hawks totaled 101 points in the women's poll. The Huntingdon women were 11-4 last season and lost in the opening round of the USA South tournament.
Methodist received five first-place votes and 135 points to lead the women's poll. North Carolina Wesleyan is second with eight first-place votes and 134 points, Meredith is third with 124 points and Covenant is fourth with 108 points.
The Huntingdon men open the season on Feb. 20 against Millsaps and Tougaloo in Jackson, Miss. The Lady Hawks also open the season on Feb. 20 in Jackson. The women will play Tougaloo and Centenary.
The complete polls are listed below.
USA South Men's Tennis Preseason Poll
1. N.C. Wesleyan (10 first-place votes), 100 points
2. Methodist (1), 90 points
3. Piedmont, 77 points
4. Huntingdon, 67 points
5. Covenant, 63 points
6. Averett, 57 points
7. LaGrange, 54 points
8. Ferrum, 34 points
9. Maryville, 29 points
10. Greensboro, 19 points
11. William Peace, 15 points
USA South Women's Tennis Preseason Poll
1. Methodist (5 first-place votes), 135 points
2. N.C. Wesleyan (8), 134 points
3. Meredith, 124 points
4. Covenant, 108 points
5. Huntingdon, 101 points
6. Piedmont, 97 points
7. Maryville, 72 points
8. LaGrange, 70 points
9. Averett, 53 points
10. William Peace, 44 points
11. Mary Baldwin, 34 points
12. Ferrum, 26 points
13. Greensboro, 16 points