Tahlequah Daily Press

March 28, 2013

NSU tennis picks up national ranking

From Staff reports

— The Northeastern State women’s tennis team earned an ITA national ranking of No. 37, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced today.

The RiverHawks are 14-2 in Amanda Stone’s inaugural season as head coach, and they are back in the national polls for the first time since May 25, 2011. This is also the highest NSU has been ranked since March 27, 2011, when the program ascended to No. 21 in the nation.

“I’m happy that all of our hard work and success this season is being recognized on a national level,” Stone said. “We have earned this national ranking with the results we have posted so far, but we are not satisfied. We need to continue to work hard and improve so we can reach our goals at the end of the season.”

Northeastern State’s only two losses this year are to teams that are currently ranked inside the top 35 in No. 29 Drury and No. 35 Southwest Baptist. Both were narrow 5-4 decisions.

NSU also boasts victories over No. 17 Tarleton State (6-3), No. 28 St. Mary’s (5-4) and No. 39 Central Oklahoma (6-3).

Three teams from the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association earned national rankings, with the Bearcats leading the way at No. 35 and the Bronchos not far behind at No. 39.

The tandem of senior Ivana Belejova and freshman Kristina Savchenkov also earned a doubles rank of No. 19, making them the only duo in the MIAA to own a current national ranking. They are 13-2 this season.

The last time the RiverHawks had a doubles team ranked was June 2, 2010, when Zuzanna Osinka and Emina Spirtovic were No. 13 in the nation.

Northeastern State is set for a trip to Kearney, Neb., for a 1 p.m. meeting Friday with University of Nebraska Kearney.