Tennis Well-Represented in First ITA Computer Rankings
Tenn. - With the Vanderbilt men’s and women’s
tennis teams totally focussed on this weekend’s Southeastern
Conference showdowns against Georgia and Tennessee, extra
excitement was added to the matches with the release of the
first Intercollegiate Tennis Association individual singles
and doubles computer rankings.
The Commodore men will square off with Georgia on Friday
and Tennessee on Sunday at the Brownlee O. Currey Tennis Center
on campus. Junior Bobby Reynolds (Acworth, Ga.) jumped up
three spots since the preseason rankings were released, moving
to No. 5. He is presently one of the hottest players in the
country, winning 15 consecutive singles matches. He is 25-5
on the year.
Reynolds will have two difficult matches this weekend, as
he squares off against No. 6-ranked Bo Hodge of Georgia and
No. 40-ranked Simon Rea of Tennessee. Reynolds and Hodge have
not competed against each other this season, but are familiar
with each others style. The two collegiate juniors are both
Georgia natives and were two of the top junior players during
their teen years.
Vanderbilt junior Chad Harris (Aurora, Colo.) only dropped
one spot from the preseason rankings to the first computer
poll, as he moved from No. 14 to 15. With his victory last
weekend against Indiana’s Jakub Praibis, Harris eclipsed
the 20-win plateau for the 2002-03 season. This year, Harris
has defeated No. 4-ranked Daniel Klemetz of Middle Tennessee
State and No. 11-ranked Brian Wilson of Illinois, along with
several other ranked foes.
Harris and sophomore Scott Brown (St. Louis, Mo.) are the
highest ranked doubles team on the Vanderbilt squad. Harris
and Brown, who were not ranked at the start of the year, are
now ranked ninth nationally. The two have posted a 10-1 record
this year and were finalist at the SEC Indoor Championship
back in January. Reynolds and junior Lewie Smith (Memphis,
Tenn.) come in at No. 45 in the doubles rankings. While the
duo got off to a slow start in 2002-03, they have rebounded
to win all six dual matches they have competed in.
The Vanderbilt women’s tennis team is also well-represented
in the ITA rankings. Senior Sarah Riske (McMurray, Pa.) had
a huge jump in the singles rankings, as moved up from No.
32 to No. 12 since the preseason poll. Riske has posted a
14-4 singles record this year and is 9-1 in dual matches.
Her only dual-match loss came to No. 1-ranked Kelly McCain
of Duke in three sets back on January 26.
After this weekend’s matches against Georgia and Tennessee,
Riske would have played the top three singles players in the
country. She will take on No. 2-ranked Agata Cioroch of Georgia
on Friday in Athens, Ga., then take on third-ranked Vilmarie
Castellvi of Tennessee on Sunday in Knoxville, Tenn. Riske
has wins over sixth-ranked Cristelle Grier of Northwestern,
eighth-ranked Alicia Pillay of Tulsa and No. 19-ranked Alice
Pirsu of Pennsylvania.
Riske and junior Aleke Tsoubanos (Chesterfield, Mo.) surprisingly
dropped one spot in the national doubles rankings from No.
2 to No. 3 despite posting a 19-1 overall record and a 10-0
mark in dual matches. The Vanderbilt duo will have two important
matches this weekend, as they will take on No. 17-ranked Vilmarie
Castellvi and Melissa Schaub of Tennessee and No. 18-ranked
Lori Grey and Agata Cioroch of Georgia.
Sophomore Audra Falk (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Tsoubanos also
posted individual rankings. Neither player was ranked in the
preseason poll, but both made huge jumps in the first computer
rankings. With her 15-0 overall record and 10-0 dual-match
mark, Falk jumped into the Top 125 at No. 46. Falk owns the
Vanderbilt record for the most consecutive singles wins. Tsoubanos,
who owns a 9-1 dual-match record, entered the rankings at
No. 70. Falk and junior Kelly Schmandt (Santa Barbara, Calif.),
who are 8-2 in dual matches, presently stand at No. 39 in
the doubles rankings.