Athens, GA - The University of Georgia men’s tennis team will start the 2011 season ranked No. 11, according to the first Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll of the year released Tuesday.
The ranking matches Georgia’s final one of 2010, a season that saw the Bulldogs reach the NCAA semifinals in Athens with an overall record of 21-8.
“At this point we’re not too concerned with the rankings, we’re just excited about the beginning of the season,” said head coach Manuel Diaz, who enters his 23rd year at the helm. “We’re continuing to make great progress as we have been since the beginning of the fall when the guys arrived. I’m really excited about this group of guys and their energy and enthusiasm. We are looking forward to a great spring.”
The University of Virginia is ranked No. 1 to start the season, followed by Southern California, Tennessee, Ohio State, Texas, UCLA, Baylor, Stanford, Florida, and Texas A&M to complete the top-10.
Georgia also has four players ranked in the singles poll, led by senior Javier Garrapiz at No. 13. Three new Bulldogs – Sadio Doumbia, Wil Spencer, and Hernus Pieters – came in at Nos. 47, 53, and 119, respectively. In doubles, the new pair of Garrapiz and Pieters – which went a perfect 6-0 this fall – is ranked No. 14. The team of Doumbia and Ignacio Taboada were tabbed 23rd after going 6-2 together in the fall.
The Southeastern Conference had five schools land in the top-25, tying with the Big 12 for second-most behind the ACC’s six. All 12 SEC schools are ranked in the top 75. Georgia is one of only 16 schools with both the men’s and women’s programs ranked in the top-25, as the Georgia women came in at No. 15.
The Bulldogs open the 2011 season at the SEC Indoors Jan. 14-17 in Knoxville, Tenn.