RANKINGS / ALL-AMERICAN SELECTIONS
SKILLMAN, NJ – College tennis is opening the 2015-16 Division I men’s season in style.
In addition to the year’s first national championship being decided this weekend in Malibu, California, in the inaugural Oracle/ITA Masters, selections for the 2015 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships and the 2015 Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Men’s Division I Preseason Rankings were also announced today by the ITA.
Oklahoma’s Axel Alvarez Llamas, who ended the 2014-15 season as the nation’s top-ranked singles player, finds himself atop the 2015 preseason rankings. Alvarez Llamas is the first top-ranked player to appear back at the top of the rankings the next season since USC’s Steve Johnson in 2012. He concluded the 2014-15 season with a 39-6 record in singles play, including a run of 23 consecutive victories.
Ryan Shane of Virginia, the 2015 NCAA National Singles Champion, is ranked No. 2, while Mackenzie McDonald of UCLA, fresh off of his win at the 2015 American Collegiate Invitational at the US Open, is in the No. 3 position. Baylor’s Julian Lenz and Notre Dame’s Quentin Monaghan round out the top 5. Alvarez Llamas, Shane, Lenz and Monaghan will all take part in this week’s Oracle/ITA Masters.
Virginia and Oklahoma each have two student-athletes in the top 10, as the Sooners’ Andrew Harris is No. 6, while the Cavaliers’ Thai-Son Kwiatkowski holds down the No. 8 ranking.
The ACC has five players in the top 10 and seven in the top 20, while the Big 12 has three in the top 10 and six in the top 20. The SEC, Pac-12, American and Big Ten all feature at least one individual in the top 20.
Virginia leads all institutions with six student-athletes ranked in the top 125. Florida and North Carolina each have five ranked players.
In doubles, Georgia’s Austin Smith and Ben Wagland garnered the No. 1 ranking. Smith and Wagland finished the 2014-15 season No. 2 in the Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings, reached the NCAA National Doubles Quarterfinals and were 2-0 against last year’s preseason No. 1-ranked team of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese.
Shane finds himself also ranked No. 2 doubles, along with teammate Luca Corinteli. Texas Tech’s Felipe Soares and Hugo Dojas are No. 3, with LSU’s Boris Arias and Jordan Daigle and Wake Forest’s Christian Seraphim and Skander Mansouri at the No. 4 and 5 positions, respectively.
Virginia, South Florida, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, Florida and Cal each have two ranked doubles teams.
Mazen Osama of Alabama is the top-ranked New Player, the first time a member of the Crimson Tide has been featured in the New Player ranking. Stanford has two players, Sameer Kumar at No. 3 and Michael Genender at No. 7, in the top 10.
For the ninth straight year, the University of Tulsa will be the site of the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championships. The tournament kicks off with prequalifying matches starting on Oct. 3, while the main draw is runs Oct. 8-12.
About the Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings
As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA administers the Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings that are designed to track the top men's and women's teams, along with singles and doubles players in NCAA Divisions I, II, III, NAIA, Junior Colleges and California Junior Colleges. For full rankings information, please visit http://www.itatennis.com/AwardsAndRankings/Rankings.htm.