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Cougar men picked 4th in UMAC tennis coaches' poll

The University of Minnesota, Morris men's tennis team has been chosen for a fourth-place finish by the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) coaches, in the annual preseason poll.

The Cougars earned 11 points to place fourth in the six-team UMAC, three points ahead of Bethany Lutheran and North Central who tied for fifth place.

St. Scholastica led the way with 24 points, taking four of six possible first-place votes as they were chosen to defend their title after running perfect through the conference last season.

Northwestern grabbed the final two first-place votes and sits in second, while Martin Luther rounds out the top three.

The Cougar men went 0-11 last year with an 0-10 mark in the UMAC, and coming off a rough 2011 season, they will look to rebuild in 2012.

The Cougars had flashes of success last season, and being led by Caleb Power in 2012 will search for consistency. Power saw time at both No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions last season, providing experience for the Cougars at the top of the line-up. Power is one of just two returning starters for Minnesota Morris this season, as a new-look line-up will grace the court.

Head coach Eli Starzl enters his fourth season at the helm and has had the Cougars in the mix in the past. With a young squad led by a few key returnees, the Cougars could sneak up on teams in 2012.