FLORENCE, SC – The Francis Marion University women’s and men’s tennis teams are ranked 10th and 21st respectively in the final 2012 Intercollegiate Tennis Association NCAA Division II Top 50 national polls released recently. Several Patriot players were also included in the end-of-the-season singles and doubles rankings.
The Patriot women ended the season with an 18-4 record and made the program’s sixth NCAA national tournament appearance in the past seven seasons. The Patriots lost in the Southeast Regional title match. All four losses were to opponents ranked seventh or higher. Over the past five seasons, the FMU women own a combined 89-25 mark, with 15 losses to opponents ranked in the Top 5.
Under the direction of 20th-year head coach Garth Thomson, the FMU women appear in the end-of-the-season national poll for the seventh straight year and for the 14th time in the past 19 seasons. Thomson has compiled a 263-166 career coaching record while directing the Patriot women.
The Francis Marion men were 10-7 this past year and earned the program’s fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament invitation, and its 16th bid in the past 18 seasons. Six of the team’s seven losses were to nationally ranked opponents.
The men’s program has appeared in the final national poll each of the past 17 years, and 18 of the past 19 seasons. Thomson has amassed a 284-141 career coaching record at the helm of the Patriot men.
Individually, Patriot senior Jitka Gavdunova (18-2) is ranked ninth nationally among Division II women’s singles players, while junior Mona Blauen (18-1) is ranked 22nd and junior Tereza Baranova (12-1) is 38th. Gavdunova was ranked 13th at the conclusion of her junior year and 37th as a sophomore, and concluded her career at FMU with a 71-8 singles record. Blauen was listed 43rd in the final 2011 ratings.
The doubles duo of Gavdunova and Blauen (19-3) ranked seventh nationally in Division II, up five positions from No. 12 at the end of the 2011 campaign and up 10 spots from 17th in 2010. The pair registered a 51-10 mark in three seasons playing together.
Baranova and freshman Julia Graf (14-4) are ranked 22nd in the final 2012 women’s ratings.
On the men’s side, junior Alex Caspari (14-2) is ranked 14th among Division II singles players, while the doubles pair of Caspari and freshman Gavin Davison (13-4) finished 2012 ranked eighth nationally. Caspari was listed 13th in the final 2011 doubles rankings.