Zmak, Abbes Remain Atop ITA National NAIA Singles Rankings
National Singles & Doubles and Regional Singles & Doubles Rankings Published Today
SKILLMAN, NJ (Mar. 13) - The ITA National NAIA Rankings are published today, unveiling the Top 50 national singles players and Top 25 national doubles teams in NAIA men's and women's tennis. Regional singles and doubles rankings are also published today.
Familiar faces reign atop the men's and women's singles lists with Embry-Riddle's Deni Zmak leading the men, while Xavier (LA)'s Nour Abbes is the No. 1 ranked woman. Zmak has posted a perfect 8-0 record at first singles for the 7-2 Eagles, and is ranked No. 1 in the ITA National NAIA Singles Rankings for the seventh straight edition dating back to the final 2012-13 rankings, his freshman year. Abbes is 10-1 this spring for the Gold Nuggets with her lone loss on record being an injury withdrawal. Abbes also is 1-0 against Division I competition, scoring Xavier's only point in a 6-1 loss to crosstown rival Tulane.
Trailing Zmak in the men's Top 5 are Georgia Gwinnett's Jordan Cox at No. 2, who maintained his previous ranking; Vanguard's Stefan Kilchhofer is ranked No. 3, up one spot since November; Edberg Espinosa of Lindsey Wilson is ranked No. 4, also an improvement of one spot; and Georgia Gwinnett's Kevin Konfederak enters the rankings for the first time at No. 5. Konfederak is the highest ranked freshman in the ITA National NAIA Singles Rankings.
The women's Top 5 behind Abbes remains intact from the previous edition: No. 2 is Anastasia Baranova of Oklahoma Baptist, No. 3 is Alicia Rodriguez of Lindsey Wilson, No. 4 is Valeria Podda of Georgia Gwinnett and No. 5 is Amy Fritz of Evangel. Players ranked No. 6-10 however went through a major reshuffling.
The new No. 6 player is Alice Baudeigne of Auburn-Montgomery, a high-riser up from No. 17. The freshman Baudeigne is currently running a 10-match win streak and has won two Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Week awards this spring. The new No. 7 ranked player is Westmont's Lauren Stratman, a junior who is 10-0 in singles this spring with four of those matches being won by double-bagel scores. Ranked No. 8 is Concordia-Irvine's Ivana Vlakic, who moves down two spots from No. 6. No. 9 Fatyha Berjane of Brenau is a rankings newcomer this edition. The junior transfer has held court for the Panthers at first singles and is the only player to take a set off No. 1 ranked Nour Abbes this spring. Tenth-ranked Katie Wilson of Indiana Wesleyan was previously ranked No. 7.
There is a new No. 1 in the ITA National NAIA Men's Doubles Rankings as Georgia Gwinnett's Connor Clements and Jordan Cox leapt ahead of Embry-Riddle's Zmak and Jaime Sanchez-Canamares Rios. Clements was previously ranked No. 7 with a different partner, but the new top-ranked duo has posted a 7-1 record this spring while Zmak and Rios are 4-3 and have slid down to No. 2.
Holding onto their No. 3 ranking are Vanguard's Stefan Kilchhofer and Roger Muri, while new No. 4 Edberg Espinosa and Francisco Charters of Lindsey Wilson moved up from No. 6. They displaced Northwestern Ohio's Thommy Johansson and Daniel Rueda from No. 4 to No. 5.
The women's doubles Top 3 is intact from last time: No. 1 is Anastasia Baranova and Kateryna Shkot of Oklahoma Baptist, No. 2 is Jessica King and Alicia Rodriguez of Lindsey Wilson and No. 3 is Paula Ortiz Couder and Hui-I Huang of Embry-Riddle. Georgia Gwinnett's Valeria Podda and Laura Wehner are the new No. 4 ranked doubles team. Podda was ranked No. 18 in November with a different partner. Ranked No. 5 are Auburn-Montgomery's Paula Diaz and Anna Rudolfova, who are up three spots from No. 8.
Also published in addition to the ITA National NAIA Top 50 singles and Top 25 doubles rankings today are the Regional Top 20 Singles and Top 10 Doubles rankings for each of the four regions. For complete men's national and regional singles and doubles rankings, click here. For complete women's national and regional singles and doubles rankings, click here.
About the ITA Rankings
As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA administers the ITA College Tennis Rankings (Singles, Doubles, and Team) that are designed to track the top men and women teams and singles and doubles players in NCAA Divisions I, II, III, NAIA, Junior Colleges and California Junior Colleges. For full rankings information, please visit http://www.itatennis.com/AwardsAndRankings/Rankings.htm.