Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
TACOMA, Wash. - The Northwest Conference unveiled its preseason coaches' poll for men's tennis on Thursday afternoon with Pacific Lutheran University projected to finish seventh in the league standings.
The Lutes (1-15, 1-11 NWC in 2015-16) secured 26 points in the poll to lock up seventh place, finishing three votes shy of Linfield College (4-12, 3-9 NWC) for sixth and 12 points clear of eighth ranked Willamette University (3-10, 3-9 NWC).
Whitman College (19-9, 11-1 NWC) sits atop the poll with 72 points and eight first place endorsements while Lewis & Clark College (13-8, 10-2 NWC) is second with 57 points and the remaining first place vote. Pacific University (18-4, 11-1 NWC) is third with 50 points followed by George Fox University (9-10, 6-6 NWC) in fourth (43 points) and Whitworth University (12-8, 8-4 NWC) in fifth (32 points). The University of Puget Sound (1-11, 1-11 NWC) rounds out the preseason prognostications, placing ninth with 10 points.
PLU competed at the ITA Northwest Regional in the fall with newcomer Ryan Adams advancing to the round of 16 in his first collegiate event. Among those returning for the Lutes is James Okubo who played a majority of last season at No. 1 singles along with Justin DeMattos and Chan Thourk. DeMattos split time at No. 4 and No. 5 singles while Thourk operated primarily at the No. 6 singles position.
The Lutes open up the spring slate on Feb. 5 with a non-conference match against Division I Seattle University before opening NWC action on Feb. 18 against preseason favorite and perennial power Whitman College.