TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's tennis team has been picked to finish third in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season, in a preseason poll of league coaches.
The Fightin' Engineers received 59 poll points to place third in the poll, five points ahead of fourth-place Franklin.
Earlham College earned the top spot with 81 points and all nine first-place votes. Transylvania University was picked second with 72 points.
Rose-Hulman and Franklin were picked third and fourth, followed by Hanover and Manchester. Defiance, Anderson and Mount St. Joseph rounded out the poll.
Rose-Hulman finished fourth in the league at 6-3 in conference play last season and recorded its 16th consecutive season at .500 or above by finishing 11-8 overall.
The 2014 team features the return of four varsity letter winners and five newcomers, including multiple freshman who will compete for playing time at the top of the playing order. Senior Nate Moore (Scottsdale, Ariz.) played in the No. 3 singles spot last year, sophomore Matthew Conrad (Anderson, Ind./Lapel) finished 14-4 as the primary No. 4 singles player, and sophomore Erin Miller (Stamping Ground, Ky./Scott County) split time with junior Ray Montgomery (Terre Haute/South) at the No. 6 singles position last season.
Rose-Hulman hosts Vincennes University on Saturday at the Wabash Valley Tennis Center. The official Division III portion of the schedule begins with a home match against Alma College on Feb. 22.