Stanford, Virginia Claim Top Spots in ITA College Tennis Rankings

Rankings Graphic - Jan. 2, 2014

Stanford, Virginia Claim Top Spots in ITA College Tennis Rankings

Anderson, Thompson top singles; UCLA, Tennessee top doubles

 

ITA Division I Men's Rankings | ITA Division I Women's Rankings

 

SKILLMAN, NJ  (Jan. 2) -- The reigning champion Stanford Cardinal women's team and Virginia Cavaliers men's team remain atop the ITA Division I Team Rankings, as released today by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. 
 
Stanford clipped Texas A&M 4-3 to win its 17th NCAA title last spring and the team will look to continue its success this season although the Cardinal will need to replace its top player, Nicole Gibbs, who turned pro prior to the start of the 2013-2014 season. Senior Kristie Ahn (No. 6) leads the Cardinal and is joined in the lineup by a trio of ranked freshmen: Caroline Doyle (No. 34), Carol Zhao (No. 40), and Taylor Davidson (No. 41).
 
University of Florida women are ranked No. 2
The Florida women's team is No. 2 in the team rankings, as the Gators' two-year NCAA Championship reign ended in 2013 in the semifinals against Stanford. Though they've lost 2013 ITA Player of the Year Lauren Embree, the Gators boast four players in the ITA Top 30, including Olivia Janowicz (No. 17) and Brianna Morgan (No. 18), who is 13-4 with six ranked wins this fall. The Gators also feature former ITA No. 1 
Sofie Oyen, who is currently ranked No. 27.

 

North Carolina, the 2013 ITA Division I Women's National Team Indoor champions, came in at No. 3 in the ITA Division I Women's Team Rankings. The Tar Heels have added two talented freshmen to their roster, including No. 2 ranked Jamie Loeb, who started her collegiate career with wins at both the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships and 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in the fall to boast a 19-1 singles record. Fellow Tar Heel Hayley Carter is No. 5 in the ITA Singles Rankings.
  
Top-ranked Virginia men's team

On the men's side, the defending champion Virginia Cavaliers claimed the No. 1 spot in the ITA Division I Men's Team Rankings. Virginia fought off a team match point against UCLA in the 2013 NCAA Men's Team Championship, capturing its first team title in the 67th year of the tournament. The team is led by Mitchell Frank (No. 3), winner of the 2013 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championship, who went undefeated (6-0) in the fall. Frank clinched the 2013 NCAA team title for the

Cavaliers. He is joined by former No. 1 Alex Domijan, who missed the fall season, and three other ranked singles players.

 

The UCLA Bruins begin the season nipping at the heels of Virginia in the No. 2 slot. Clay Thompson triumphed in the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship en route to an 18-1 fall record and the No. 1 ranking. Five singles players and one doubles team earned rankings for the Bruins, including No. 11 Marcos Giron and newcomers Mackenzie McDonald (No. 62) and Gage Brymer (No. 120). UCLA last won the NCAA Team Championship in 2005.

 

Georgia rounds out the Top 3, having made a run to the semifinals of the 2013 NCAA Team Championships before losing to eventual champion Virginia. The Bulldogs are led by four Top 50 ranked players, including Nathan Pasha (No. 21), who won his first seven matches of the fall and also captured the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Singles Championship. Sophomore Austin Smith (No. 12) also turned in an outstanding fall record for Georgia at 15-5, including a quarterfinal appearance at the 2013 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championships.

 

Double-Dip: Twelve schools have both men's and women's programs ranked inside the Top 25:    

 

School

Men

Women

Baylor University

8

19

California

17

8

Clemson University

23

13T

Duke University

7

10

Texas A&M University

12

7

UCLA

2

5T

University of Florida

15

2

University of Georgia

3

4

University of Southern California

4

5T

University of Texas at Austin

20

17

University of Virginia

1

13T

Vanderbilt  16  16

 

UCLA, Tennessee Tops in Doubles: UCLA's Robin Anderson and Jennifer Brady sit atop the Division I Women's Doubles Rankings. The Bruins, who were ranked No. 20 in the ITA Preseason rankings, won the 2013 ITA/Riviera Women's All-American Championships doubles title in September after winning seven straight matches to clinch the title. Along their way, the duo beat the current No. 5 ranked Georgia team of Lauren Herring and Maho Kawase. Anderson is also ranked No. 1 in singles after making it to the finals of both national events.

 

Tennessee's Hunter Reese and Mikelis Libietis lived up to their ITA Preseason No. 1 ranking, making finals appearances in both national tournaments during the fall and winning the 2013 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championships doubles title. The pair won their first eight matches en route to an 11-2 record during the fall, while also racking up three wins against Top 20 teams.

Fab freshman: Several rookies caught the attention of the college tennis world this fall and have charged their way into the Top 30 entering the spring season.  No. 2 Loeb and No. 5 Carter, who reached the semifinals of the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, are joined in the top 25 of the ITA Division I Women's Singles Rankings by fellow freshmen Denise Starr of Cal (No. 15) Jennifer Brady of UCLA (No. 24).

USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Champions: Clay Thompson (UCLA) is ranked No. 1, and Jamie Loeb (UNC) is ranked No. 2.

 

On the men's side, both North Carolina's Ronnie Schneider (No. 17) and George Goldhoff of Texas (No. 24) started off their careers on the right foot. Goldhoff registered three wins in Tulsa, including knocking off top-ranked Libietis in the second round before losing to Baylor's Julian Lenz in the quarterfinals. Schneider recorded wins over five ranked opponents during a nine-match winning streak to start his collegiate career. He won two main draw singles matches at Tulsa before also falling to Lenz.

 

Making the Most of the Fall: Four players on both the men's and women's side moved up considerable spots in the ITA National College Tennis singles rankings from this fall. Duke's Beatrice Capra rose from No. 27 to No. 3, while Jenny Jullien of St Mary's jumped from No. 22 to No. 7, Abigail Tere-Apisah of Georgia State improved to No. 8 from her previous No. 37, and UCLA's Chanelle Van Nguyen surged to No. 9 from No. 80. 

 

UCLA's Clay Thompson made a huge leap on the men's side, rising from No. 74 all the way to No. 1. Julian Lenz of Baylor jumped from No. 38 in the ITA Preseason Rankings to No. 2, while Axel Alvarez of Oklahoma surged to No. 6 from his preseason ranking of No. 85. Last but not least, Austin Smith of Georgia was not fazed by being left out of the ITA Preseason Rankings, earning his No. 12 ranking by going 15-5 in the fall.

 

Next ITA Rankings: Weekly team rankings begin on Jan. 21, with the exception the weeks during the ITA Division I National Team Indoor Championships. Singles and doubles rankings are published every other week starting Feb. 11.

 

ITA Rankings Division I Men

LY Ranking

 ITA Rankings Division I Women

LY Ranking

1 - University of Virginia

1

1 - Stanford

1

2 - UCLA

2

2 - University of Florida

2

3 - University of Georgia

3

3 - North Carolina

4

4 - USC

5

4 - University of Georgia

5

5 - Ohio State University

4

5T - UCLA

7

6 - University of Tennessee

6

5T - USC

6

7 - Duke University

7

7 - Texas A&M University

3

8 - Baylor University

12

8 - California

9

9 - University of Kentucky

9

9 - University of Miami, Florida

8

10 - University of Oklahoma

13

10 - Duke University

14

11 - University of Mississippi

10

11 - University of Michigan

10

12 - Texas A&M University

14

12 - University of Alabama

11

13 - Pepperdine

8

13T - Clemson University

13

14 - Mississippi State University

11

13T - University of Virginia

15

15 - University of Florida

16

15 - Northwestern University

12

16 - Vanderbilt University

15

16 - Vanderbilt University

19

17 - California

17

17 - University of Texas at Austin

17

18 - University of South Carolina

18

18 - Texas Tech University

18

19 - Wake Forest University

19

19 - Baylor University

20

20 - University of Texas

23

20 - Georgia Tech

21

21 - University of Memphis

20

21 - University of Notre Dame

23

22 - University of Illinois

24

22 - Rice University

22

23 - Clemson University

21

23 - Auburn University

25

24 - Louisiana State University

22

24 - Florida State University

24

25 - University of Tulsa

25

25 - University of Nebraska

16

 

About the ITA

As the governing body of collegiate tennis the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which was founded in 1956 and is based in Skillman, N.J., administers numerous regional and national championships, the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit presented by the USTA, and the Collegiate Tennis Rankings for men's and women's tennis at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA website is www.itatennis.com. 

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