FLORENCE, SC – The Francis Marion University men’s and women’s tennis teams are ranked 17th and 30th respectively in the final 2011 Intercollegiate Tennis Association NCAA Division II Top 50 national polls released recently. Several Patriot players were also included in the singles and doubles rankings.
The Francis Marion men were 10-8 this past year and earned the program’s fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament invitation, and its 15th bid in the past 17 seasons. All eight of the team’s losses were to nationally ranked opponents.
The Patriot women ended the season with an 11-7 record. All seven losses were to nationally ranked teams, including four defeats to Top 10 opponents. Over the past four seasons, the FMU women own a combined 71-21 mark, with 13 losses to opponents ranked in the Top 5.
Under the direction of 19th-year head coach Garth Thomson, the FMU women appear in the end-of-the-season national poll for the sixth straight year and for the 13th time in the past 18 seasons. Thomson has compiled a 245-162 career coaching record while directing the Patriot women.
The men’s program has appeared in the final national poll each of the past 16 years, and 17 of the past 18 seasons. Thomson has amassed a 274-134 career coaching record at the helm of the Patriot men.
Individually, senior Oshada Wijemanne (11-4) ranked 10th among Division II men’s singles players, up eight positions from 18th where he ranked at the conclusion of the 2010 season.
The doubles pair of senior Karl Rogers and sophomore Alex Caspari (10-7) finished 2011 ranked 13th nationally.
On the women’s side, Patriot junior Jitka Gavdunova (15-1) ranked 13th nationally among Division II singles players, while sophomore Mona Blauen (13-2) was ranked 43rd. Gavdunova was ranked 37th at the conclusion of her sophomore year.
The doubles duo of Gavdunova and Blauen (12-4) ranked 12th nationally in Division II, up five positions from No. 17 at the end of the 2010 campaign.