INDIANAPOLIS -- Green Bay and Valparaiso were picked to finish atop Horizon League men’s tennis, while Youngstown State was voted to claim the women’s title, in voting of the League’s coaches.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll.
Green Bay, which downed Valparaiso in the men’s championship match in 2015, took four first-place votes to finish on 46 points in the poll. The Crusaders had the identical result, receiving the four remaining first-place ballots.
Led by seniors Leopold Gomez Islinger and Howard Scott, the Phoenix will shoot for its third consecutive League title. This fall, the duo became the first pair of Phoenix singles players ever to advance into the qualifying draw at the ITA All-American Championships.
Valparaiso boasts its own highly-touted duo, as the junior doubles tandem of Jeffrey Schorsch and Charlie Emhardt jumped 22 spots in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) first men’s doubles rankings of 2016, opening the spring season at No. 33 nationally. As a sophomore, Schorsch was voted the League’s Player of the Year.
Winners of the last two women’s titles, Youngstown State will also be after its third consecutive crown this season. Of the 10 first-place ballots cast, the Penguins collected eight to pace the field.
After losing reigning player of the year Marta Burak to graduation, the Penguins will rely on junior Dominka Lackova, who earned First Team All-League accolades a year ago. Annina Brendel returns after a second-team performance in 2014-15.
Cleveland State, the 2013 League champion, took third in the men’s poll and fourth on the women’s side. Last year, the Vikings reached the semifinals on both the men’s and women’s sides.
The 17-time Horizon League champion, UIC collected one first-place vote on the women’s side, finishing second in the poll. The Flames will be led by seniors Jacki Altansarnai and Ann-Sophie Hahn. Altansarnai was one of two Flames to collect First Team All-League accolades last season.
Detroit garnered the final first-place nod on the women’s side, placing third overall. Anna Davydova, a second-team selection in her sophomore year, returns to anchor the Titan lineup.
The 2016 Horizon League Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships will be contested April 29-May 1 at the Preston Robert Tisch Building on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.