February 28, 2012

Tennis Jumps Into ITA National Team and Doubles Rankings

AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron tennis team is listed No. 57 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, released on Tuesday afternoon by the sport's governing body. The ITA ranks the top-75 squads weekly throughout the dual-match season.

Today's recognition marks the program's highest-ever ranking, bettering the No. 63 it received in consecutive weeks in late March 2010 (ranking periods starting on March 23 and 30) and returns the Zips to the national poll for the first time since April 4, 2011 (No. 74).

Akron's ranking is largely fueled by its 6-1 victory over then 56th-ranked Dartmouth on the road last Friday night, the program's first upset of a ranked Division-I opponent, and a 4-3 loss at then 44th-ranked Brown on Sunday afternoon. Brown moved up to No. 41 in this week's poll.

Along with its team status in the rankings, Akron's No. 1 doubles pair of senior Zara Harutyunyan and junior Prang Pantusart is ranked No. 53 nationally. That duo is 11-0 versus dual-match competition this season, including an 8-6 win over Kentucky's Khristina Blajkevitch and Jessica Stiles on Feb. 21, which was then the 36th-ranked pair in the country.

Akron, the defending Mid-American Conference champion, is 12-1 this season. The team is idle until March 11 and 12 when it travels west to face off against New Mexico and Northern Arizona, respectively, in Flagstaff, Ariz.