Zmak, Abbes in Position for Wire-to-Wire No. 1 ITA National NAIA Singles Rankings
Embry-Riddle's Zmak and Xavier's Nour Abbes are top-ranked again
SKILLMAN, NJ (Apr. 15) - 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 Top 20 singles and Top 10 doubles rankings are also published today.
Embry-Riddle's Deni Zmak and Xavier (LA)'s Nour Abbes are the top-ranked singles players in the nation for the third straight edition of the 2014-15 rankings. With a strong finish to the season, both players would post the second wire-to-wire No. 1 singles rankings of the past four years. Abbes would match Auburn Montgomery's Ana Veselinovic from the 2011-12 season, while Zmak would be completing his second straight wire-to-wire finish, as he held the No. 1 ranking for all of 2013-14 as well. This edition marks Zmak's eighth straight as the No. 1 singles player in the NAIA.
Behind Zmak in singles, the Top 8 remains the same as last month's edition. Georgia Gwinnett teammates Jordan Cox, Kevin Konfederak and Matias Hatem check in at Nos. 2, 5 and 6, respectively, for the 11-2 Grizzlies. Vanguard's Stefan Kilchhofer retained his No. 3 ranking, as did No. 4 Edberg Espinosa of Lindsey Wilson behind him. Auburn Montgomery teammates Vincent Dubosclard and Nicolas Pinones-Haltenhoff are ranked No. 7 and No. 8. New to the Top 10 in this edition is No. 9 Kyle Montrel of Xavier (LA), who improved from No. 13 with a win over former No. 9 Daniel Rueda of Northwestern Ohio, who was bumped to No. 10.
On the women's side, only the Top 2 singles players remain in order from the previous rankings: No. 1 Nour Abbes and No. 2 Anastasia Baranova of Oklahoma Baptist. Georgia Gwinnett's Valeria Podda moves up from No. 4 to No. 3 in this ranking, her highest of the season. Auburn Montgomery's Alice Baudeigne is up from No. 6 to No. 4, while Lea Jansen of Aquinas enters the rankings this month at No. 5. Jansen has posted an 11-1 record this spring and is the new No. 1 ranked player in the Central region. Lindsey Wilson College's Alicia Rodriguez is ranked No. 6, followed by Westmont's Lauren Stratman at No. 7, Graceland's Jessica Worring at No. 8, Evangel's Amy Fritz at No. 9 and Concordia-Irvine's Ivana Vlakic at No. 10.
Men's doubles has a new number one this week in rankings entrant Rafael Lenz and Alvaro Iturriaga of Northwood (FL). Iturriaga is also ranked No. 23 in the national singles rankings. Ranked No. 2 behind Northwood's pair are Christian Wickenhauser and Till Guttenberger of Concordia-Irvine, up from No. 13 in last month's rankings. Gelawdiyos Haile and David Veliz check in at No. 3 from Southeastern (FL), former No. 1 Deni Zmak and Jaime Sanchez-Canamares Rios from Embry-Riddle are No. 4 and Lindsey Wilson's Edberg Espinosa and Francisco Charters are No. 5.
The women's doubles Top 5 is led for the third-straight edition by Anastasia Baranova and Kateryna Shkot of Oklahoma Baptist. The new No. 2 this week is Valeria Podda and Laura Wehner of Georgia Gwinnett, up from No. 4. Ranked No. 3 is Embry-Riddle's duo of Anna Gotz and Hui-I Huang, ranked No. 4 are Lindsey Wilson's Jessica King and Alicia Rodriguez, and rounding out the Top 5 are Graceland's Katherine Rodriguez and Jessica Worring.
Also published in addition to the National 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.