LANCASTER, Pa. – Thirteen-time defending champion Johns Hopkins is the unanimous choice to repeat in the 2020 Centennial Conference Men's Tennis Preseason Poll. The Blue Jays received nine first-place votes and 81 points in a vote among conference head coaches.
Swarthmore, which has finished second in the CC each of the last six seasons, was picked second with 72 points and the other first-place vote. Haverford claimed third with 59 points, followed by Franklin & Marshall (54) and Dickinson (49) in the top five.
Washington College was chosen sixth with 45 points, followed by Ursinus (34), Muhlenberg (27), Gettysburg (20), and McDaniel (9) in seventh through 10th, respectively.
Most CC squads begin their spring campaigns in mid to late February, with conference play set to begin in late March. The five-team CC Tournament will begin on Wednesday, Apr. 29 with the first-round matchup, followed by the semifinals and championship on May 2-3.
In the 26-year history of Centennial Conference men's tennis, only two teams have hoisted the championship trophy - Washington College and Johns Hopkins. Beginning in 1994, Washington College claimed 11-straight CC titles from 1994-2004, before JHU broke the Shoremen's winning streak with its first crown in 2005. The Shoremen reclaimed the title in 2006, but the Blue Jays have remained on top of the CC ever since with 13 consecutive championships dating back to 2007.
After defeating Swarthmore 5-1 in the 2019 CC title match, the Blue Jays went on to represent the Centennial in the NCAA Tournament. JHU blanked Washington & Jefferson 5-0 in the opening round before falling to Kenyon, 5-2, in round two. JHU's Vishnu Joshi also qualified for the NCAA singles championship, falling to Caltech's Varun Shanker 6-2, 6-3 in the first round.
Plenty of talent returns to the Centennial this spring, as 19 players are back who have received All-CC laurels throughout their careers. Hopkins leads the way with eight all-conference returners, followed by Haverford (5), Swarthmore (4), Dickinson (1) and Washington College (1).
For JHU, returning All-CC players include sophomores Naevin Anukornchaikul, Bran Wang and Eric Burrer, and juniors Alex Matisse, Jack Hogan, Robby Simon, Vik Vasan and Matt Lurie.
Haverford welcomes back senior Kevin Yan, sophomore George Jiang, junior Pranav Krishnan, junior David Kong, and senior Raja Arul as previous all-stars. The Swarthmore quartet of juniors Jiung Jang, John Lathrop, and Thibault Vernier along with sophomore Noah Criss are back on the court for the Garnet.
Dickinson sophomore Leonid Sorkin, the 2019 CC Rookie of the Year, and Washington College junior Koby Bonta, represent their squads as returning All-CC performers.
2019 Centennial Conference Men's Tennis Preseason Poll
|Rank | Institution (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1. Johns Hopkins (9)||81|
|2. Swarthmore (1)||72|
|4. Franklin & Marshall||54|
|6. Washington College||45|