Men's tennis earns No. 2 ranking in ITA National Rankings

Men's tennis earns No. 2 ranking in ITA National Rankings

ITA National Rankings

SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo men's tennis team was picked as the No. 2 team in the nation in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division II Team National Rankings announced on Nov. 21.

"Having the No. 2 ranking in the nation is a testament to the hard work put in by last year's team," Head Coach Chad Berryhill stated. "Getting to the finals of the National Championship is a dream for all collegiate athletes. Our current team, however, knows they have a long way to go to be able to duplicate that accomplishment, but our goal is clear, we want to return to the final and have a different result when we get there. This is a new team so hopefully we embrace the challenge and commit to the process."

The squad is coming off the 2016 spring season that saw them as the NCAA National Runners-up after falling to Hawaii Pacific in the national championship match. They finished the season with a 27-2 record, both losses coming to HPU.

Hawaii Pacific was named the No. 1 team in the rankings in the preseason poll.

Sunshine State Conference foes Barry and Lynn joined the Lions in the top ten. Barry fell in at No. 7, while Lynn came in at No. 8.

Earlier this month, the Lions found themselves at No. 1 in the South Region. The Lions finished 2016 as the No. 2 team in the nation and held the No. 1 ranking in the South Region as well.

In the national doubles rankings, Saint Leo's pair of Jaime Bueno and Oskar Nurmio were picked as the No. 8 duo in the nation. They were picked No. 3 in the South Region rankings earlier this month.

"The ranking itself doesn't affect how I will coach the team at all," Berryhill stated as he heads into his first season at the helm of the Lions. "It is not where you start in the rankings; it's where you finish. Our goal is not related to a ranking; it is simply to get better every day and become a better team. If we prepare properly, winning will take care of itself." 

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