With the 2015 season 10 days away and practice starting in three days, the Ole Miss women’s tennis team is excited to get going, and for good reason. In the preseason ITA Tennis Rankings, the Rebels are ranked No. 25 in the nation, while boasting two players in the top 35 in singles.
“This ranking is a testament to the fall that our returning players had as well as the freshmen, but at the same, this is just a starting point,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “What really counts is where we finish in May. We’re going to try to improve on this ranking, but it’s definitely a good start and a nice recognition for what we did in the fall.”
The Rebels will face eight teams ranked in the top 25 and 14 in the top 50 this season. Two teams in the top 10 will visit Oxford this year, No. 8 Alabama and No. 10 Texas A&M.
Ole Miss is well-represented in the individual singles and doubles rankings. Senior Julia Jones earned a career-high singles ranking of No. 20 in the nation after posting a 10-3 record in the fall, which included capturing the ITA Southern Regional Championship and posting seven ranked wins.
“Julia had an amazing fall,” Beyers said. “For her to miss the first few tournaments and then come in and win the regional, pick up a few more good wins at our home tournament, and have a good showing at the National Indoor. She has positioned herself to get in the NCAAs, to become an All-American, All-SEC first team, those types of honors. She has a great opportunity this spring to improve on that ranking with our schedule.”
Arianne Hartono begins the spring as the fourth highest ranked freshman in the country at No. 33. She posted a 9-4 record in the fall and captured the Country Club of Little Rock Invitational.
“All these great freshmen that come in every year, and to be the fourth highest ranked freshman after the fall is a great honor,” Beyers said. “She had a great fall and deserves to be ranked where she is. We are looking forward to having her pick up some more wins this spring, and just like with Julia, she has put herself in position for all kinds of honors and awards at the end of the season.”
Hartono teams up with junior Mai El Kamash for a ranking of No. 45 in doubles, while freshman Natalie Suk and sophomore Zalina Khairudinova are ranked No. 56.
The Rebels open the season Jan. 16 in Hawaii taking on Hawaii before playing Washington the following day.
For more information on Ole Miss Women’s Tennis, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWTennis, on Facebook at OleMissWTennis and on Instagram at OleMissWTennis.
–Ole Miss Sports Information