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Jan. 16, 2008

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference announced the men’s tennis preseason coaches poll on Wednesday, in which the Gamecocks were picked fifth in the Eastern Division with 19 votes. The poll was released in preparation for the start of the spring tennis season, which begins for many SEC schools at the Indoor Coaches Championship to be held in New Orleans, La., this weekend.

South Carolina compiled an 11-14 dual-meet record last season, including a 2-9 mark in SEC play. Following the fall tournament season, Carolina was picked 56th in the ITA Preseason Rankings as a team, while individually sophomore Pedro Campos was picked 74th.

The Ole Miss Rebels were picked as the overall SEC champion. Last season, Ole Miss went 24-5, 9-2 in league play, and made it to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Championships before being defeated by eventual finalist Illinois. The Bulldogs are currently ranked fifth in the ITA Preseason Rankings.

Ole Miss was also picked as the Western Division Champion, with LSU in the No. 2 spot. Alabama came in third with Auburn in the fourth spot. Mississippi State and Arkansas rounded out the list at fifth and sixth, respectively.

Georgia was voted to win the Eastern Division with Florida being voted second. Tennessee was picked third with Kentucky in fourth, South Carolina in fifth and Vanderbilt listed in sixth.

The preseason poll is voted on by the SEC men’s tennis coaches and is based on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 count. The complete tally for the poll is below.

2008 Men’s Tennis Preseason Coaches Poll
Eastern Division
1. Georgia, 64
2. Florida, 51
3. Tennessee, 49
4. Kentucky, 31
5. South Carolina, 19
6. Vanderbilt, 17

Western Division
1. Ole Miss, 66
2. LSU, 49
3. Alabama, 46
4. Auburn, 29
5. Mississippi State, 26
6. Arkansas, 15

Overall Regular Season Champion: Ole Miss (6 votes); Georgia (4); Tennessee (1)

*Note: One coach did not return ballot.