SKILLMAN, N.Y. -- The Intercollegiate Tennis Association released their fall rankings recently and West Virginia Wesleyan has entered the top 10 in the Atlantic region.
The Lady Bobcats are ranked ninth in the first poll, their first appearance since the spring of 2009.
Rebekka Heigermoser, the MEC Freshman of the Year, is ranked No. 10 in the regional singles, while teammate Paula Pimenta is No. 18. Both were named to the MEC All-Conference First Team this past fall. Pimenta has been a first team selection in each of her four seasons.
"I am very proud of these girls and the progress we are making as a team," said head coach Marc Walters of the ranking. "They have been patient, and worked well together from day one to get the lineup together that we are putting on the court."
Wesleyan is currently 9-3 overall, and finished third in the Mountain East conference standings.
Charleston, the MEC tournament champion, is No. 3, followed by regular season champion West Virginia State at No. 4. Those two teams combined to hand the Lady Bobcats their only losses during the fall season.
"Our girls' academic excellence has always been a bright spot," notes Walters. "But our seniors Paula Pimenta and Sarah Cameron have had this day on their radar for a couple years. They came here to get the program back to a competitive level. They have been a great anchor to grow around and now our young ones have something positive to build on."
The spring season features dates with Mercyhurst, California (Pa.), Edinboro and Shaw among the Lady 'Cats' ten matches, and the team has the chance to move up in the ratings with some key wins.
The top seven teams in the region qualify for the NCAA tournament in May, a place this Wesleyan team has not been since the 2009-10 season.
Indiana (Pa.) and Mercyhurst occupy the top two spots, leading a group of five PSAC schools in the top 10.
West Liberty State, who the Lady 'Cats defeated in the regular season, is the other MEC team in the rankings, entering at No. 10.
Nine-time defending PSAC Champion Cal (Pa.) holds the No. 6 place in the initial poll, the first time they have been out of the top two since 2004.
Click here to view the ITA Regional Rankings.