Coaches Predict Fourth-Place Finish for Gophers

Coaches Predict Fourth-Place Finish for Gophers

TOWSON, Md. — One of the nine head men's tennis coaches in the Landmark Conference picks Goucher to be crowned champion in 2015 and the consensus of the group is that the Gophers will earn a berth in the conference playoffs for the first time.

The conference released its annual preseason poll this morning and it shows four different teams receiving at least one first-place vote. Juniata, which picked up six first-place votes (coaches could not vote for their own team), was established as the favorite to claim the Landmark title. The remaining three first-place ballots were evenly distrbuted among Catholic, Moravian and head coach Brendan Kincaid's squad.

The Eagles earned a total of 76 points in the preseason balloting by head coaches, which is 24 more than Catholic, which placed second in the poll (52 points). Moravian took third place with 51 points and Goucher was next with 45 points.

Fifth place in the poll went to Scranton, which earned 40 points, followed by Elizabethtown (34 points) in sixth, Drew (26) in seventh, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (18) in eighth and Susquehanna (9) in ninth.

The top four teams in the standings at the concludion of the regular season advance to a postseason tournament that determines the Landmark champion and also its automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III Championships.

"It's gratifying to see that the other coaches recognize how the Goucher men's tennis program has been improving and this is the most talented Goucher team from top to bottom since we joined the Landmark Conference," Kincaid commented after seeing the results of the poll. "But we're not going to be satisfied if we finish in fourth place this season. The goal all along has been to continue to improve and I think my guys know that our hard work is going to pay off this season."

The Gophers, who won two of the three matches they played in the fall, return to action on February 26 when they travel to face Washington (Md.).