Vanderbilt Tennis Well-Represented in First ITA Computer Rankings 2/26/03

NASHVILLE, 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.

Fellow 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.



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