FLORENCE, SC – The Francis Marion University women’s and men’s tennis teams are ranked fifth and 14th respectively in the 2009 fall Intercollegiate Tennis Association NCAA Division II national polls released recently. Several Patriot players are also included in the singles and doubles rankings, including a pair of second-ranked doubles squads.
The Patriot women’s No.5 listing equals the program’s highest ranking ever – previously achieved in each of the past two seasons. In 2009, FMU posted a 20-5 record that included a second-straight appearance in the NCAA Division II’s round of Sweet 16 and the Patriots ended the season ranked fifth.
FMU finished third during the Peach Belt Conference’s regular season, lost in the PBC Tournament title match, and then earned the program’s ninth NCAA Tournament invitation in the past 15 years – where the Patriots captured their second straight Southeast Regional title. Over the past two seasons, Francis Marion is a combined 43-8, with seven losses to opponents ranked in the Top 5 and the other loss was to an NCAA Division I opponent.
The FMU men were 16-6 in 2009, earned their 13th national tournament invitation in the past 15 years, and ended the year ranked 18th.
Individually, Patriot senior Tereza Sykorova is ranked sixth nationally among Division II women’s singles players, while junior Sabina Baberadova is eighth, and junior Jitka Gavdunova is 26th. The doubles duo of Sykorova and Baberadova is ranked second nationally in Division II, while Gavdunova and freshman Kerry Hall are listed at the No. 18 position.
On the men’s side, junior Oshada Wijemanne is ranked ninth in Division II singles and junior Dilshod Sharifi is ranked 17th. Their doubles team is also ranked second nationally.