Siim Tuus and the Flames are picked to finish fourth in the Big South Conference this spring.
The Flames tennis squad has been predicted to finish fourth in this year's Big South Conference, as the league announced earlier this afternoon in its annual preseason poll. The poll is voted on by the conference's head men's tennis coaches.
Liberty collected one first-place vote on their way to earning 34 points in the poll. The Flames were narrowly edged by Coastal Carolina for third place, as the Chanticleers received 35 points from the panel and also received a first-place vote.
Last season, the Flames posted a 12-10 mark overall, while finishing tied for third in the Big South with a 4-2 record. Despite graduating three players from last year's squad, the Flames return experienced players Giancarlo Lemmi, Tristan Stayt, Benjamin Wirth and last season's Big South Freshman of the Year, Siim Tuus. Tuus and Lemmi were both all-conference honorees, with Tuus being named to the singles team and Lemmi being named to the doubles team along with teammate Chad Simpson.
Liberty also brings in three new team members in freshmen Shea Thomas and Stanislav Vaughan, as well as senior transfer David Kwon.
Defending Big South Champion Winthrop was tabbed as the favorites for the spring season, receiving three first-place votes to finish with 42 points and narrowly edging Radford, who garnered 41 points and received two first-place votes.
The Flames begin their 2011 campaign Jan. 27, when they face East Carolina at 11 a.m. at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
Big South Conference Preseason Men's Tennis Poll Rk. Team (first-place votes) Points 1. Winthrop (3) 42 2. Radford (2) 41 3. Coastal Carolina (1) 35 4. Liberty (1) 34 5. Gardner-Webb 20 6. UNC Asheville 15 7. Presbyterian College 9
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