Singles Players, Doubles Squads Earn National Rankings
ITA Rankings Page
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association put out its Jan. 4 national singles and doubles rankings prior to the dual match season, and the Big West men and women represented well.
Four doubles squads and three individuals populated the ITA lists, which rank the top 60 doubles tandems and top 125 singles players. Leading the way in doubles were a pair of men’s duos from the Central Coast. Simon Freund, a transfer from LSU, and UC Santa Barbara partner Morgan Mays are ranked No. 19 nationally while the Cal Poly pairing of Corey Pang and Ben Donovan landed at No. 21. The Mustangs had a second doubles squad represented with No. 53 Garrett Auproux and Tim Tan. On the women’s side, UCSB featured the No. 33-ranked tandem of Melissa Baker and Stephanie Yamada.
Mays and Freund reached their lofty ranking thanks to impressive play during the fall season. They became the first Gaucho duo to qualify for the prestigious USTA/ITA Indoor Championships by winning five matches and the title at the ITA Southwest Regional Championship in October. Then, at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, Mays and Freund advanced to the quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA tourney, which included a win over the No. 1 ranked doubles team in the country – Julian Cash and Arjun Kadhe of Oklahoma State.
In singles, two males and one female earned their place among the top 125. Donovan, a three-time All-Big West First Team standout in singles, cracked the rankings at No. 45. Donovan finished 11-6 last year at No. 1 and 12-8 overall in dual matches for Cal Poly. Mays joined Donovan as the second men’s athlete to garner an initial 2017 ranking in both singles and doubles. The Gaucho senior captured first-team all-conference recognition last season, and begins this year's campaign ranked No. 96 nationally in singles.
Hawai‘i freshman Petra Melounova attained a No. 119 singles ranking, bolstering a Rainbow Wahine lineup that already boasts women’s first team all-conference honorees Cindy Nguyen and Marina Hruba.