Men's Tennis Earns Preseason Ranking

Men's Tennis Earns Preseason Ranking

Tempe, AZ -- West Virginia Wesleyan is well represented in the first regional ranking of the year which was released Wednesday. Four men's singles players and two doubles teams made the initial ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the sports governing body.

 
Sophomore Lukas Laipold (#7) and senior Ramon Rodriguez (#9) cracked the top ten after making the quarterfinal round in the fall ITA regional tournament. Both Bobcats were in the final top 15 rankings last season as well. 
 
Laipold had no fewer than 6 match points in his loss, keeping from a second consecutive semifinal appearance.
 
Maycon Santos Dias and Alexander Lyudinovskiy are newcomers to the poll after impressive results of their own in the same event. 
 
Dias, a freshman from Brasil, comes in at #15 after dropping his second round ITA match to Nenad Terzic of Mercyhurst in a super-breaker, 2-6 6-3, 13-11. Terzic is the region's #2 player and a top returning senior in the Atlantic region.
 
The sophomore Lyudinovskiy, who was a stellar 22-1 last season playing mostly at #4, is rated #18 in the first poll. He won five straight matches to take the ITA consolation draw, defeating  12th-ranked Alex Gracin of Charleston in the final. Lyudinovskiy lost a super-breaker in the first round, to West Chester's #1 player Norman Patten, who is ranked at #13.
 
Both Dias and Lyudinovskiy also held match points in their matches before falling, indicative of the margin for error in each loss.
 
The doubles team of Rodriguez and Laipold is currently #7, while Dias and Yonas Woldesadik, a graduate transfer, is ranked at #8. 
 
Woldesadik, who was an NAIA All-American player at Lewis and Clark State (ID), won the "B" draw singles at the ITA as well, defeating teammates Thomas McIntosh and Harry Simaioforidis along the way.
 
"This looks like a pretty deep team we have this season, and the fall results bear that out," said head coach Marc Walters, who is entering his 6th spring with the Bobcats.
 
"If we can get everyone to the finish line in February we should be in a good place to work our way towards the NCAAs and in the MEC," Added Walters. "Those are always our top goals as a team, but April is a long way off."