Women's Tennis Stays Firm in ITA Team Rankings 2/12/03

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Vanderbilt women's tennis team will head into this weekend's two huge SEC matches ranked No. 10 nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. This is the second-straight week the Commodores have been ranked tenth. They have also been ranked in the top 10 the entire 2003 season, with their highest ranking being No. 8. Up to this point in the season, the ITA has been releasing its coaches rankings, but on March 19 it will release its first computer rankings.

Vanderbilt joins No. 1-ranked Florida, who received all eight first-place votes, and No. 5-ranked Georgia as the only three SEC teams ranked in the top 10. Tennessee and Kentucky are just on the outside, as they come in at No. 11 and No. 13, respectively. While the Commodores have already dropped a heartbreaking, 4-3, decision to the Bulldogs, they will have their opportunity at dethroning the top-ranked Gators at 12 p.m. Sunday in Nashville.

The ITA also released its second installment of the individual singles and doubles computer rankings. Senior Sarah Riske (McMurray, Pa.) once again posted the highest singles ranking on the team. Riske only dropped one spot from the previous poll, as she comes in at No. 13. As Vanderbilt's top singles player, she has taken on several of the top college players in the country. The top three players in the country are Georgia's Agata Cioroch, Duke's Kelly McCain and Tennessee's Vilmarie Castellvi - all of whom Riske has taken on this season. She will most likely have a showdown with No. 15-ranked Lindsay Dawaf of Florida on Sunday.

Riske and doubles partner Aleke Tsoubanos (Chesterfield, Mo.) dropped only one spot to No. 4 despite losing two matches since the previous rankings. The catch is that their two losses came to now No. 1-ranked Cioroch and Lori Grey of Georgia and fifth-ranked Castellvi and Melissa Schaub of Tennessee. Riske and Tsoubanos are currently 21-3 this year, which includes a 12-2 dual-match record.

Tsoubanos, sophomore Audra Falk (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior Kelly Schmandt (Santa Barbara, Calif.) all posted singles rankings. Tsoubanos comes in at No. 96, Falk at No. 103 and Schmandt at No. 105. These three are a combined 35-6 in dual matches at the No. 2-4 positions. Falk and Schmandt also come in at No. 57 in the doubles rankings, as they compete at the No. 2 position for the Commodores.




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