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National

Tennis Channel/USTA College Tennis Top 25: March 24, 2021

Pat Mitsch | March 24, 2021


ORLANDO, Fla. — The first Tennis Channel/USTA College Tennis Top 25 poll in more than a year features North Carolina ranked No. 1 in both the men's and women's polls, as the rankings return for the remainder of the 2021 NCAA Division I season.

 

Both Tar Heel programs have remained undefeated after winning the ITA Indoor Championships in February, and both are making up for lost time.

 

The UNC women are 17-0, with seniors Sara Daavettila (Williamston, Mich.), Alexa Graham (Garden City, N.Y.) and Makenna Jones (pictured above; Greenville, S.C.) having all returned for an extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA after COVID-19 forced the cancelation of the 2020 season. They've been joined by freshman Fiona Crawley (San Antonio), a former junior national champion, who's gone 17-0 in singles so far this season.

The UNC men (12-0) are benefitting similarly from another year of William Blumberg (pictured right; Greenwich, Conn.), the 2017 NCAA singles finalist who earned the ITA's Senior Player of the Year distinction in 2020. He and junior Brian Cernoch (Rockville, Md.) together have gone 16-1 in singles and 7-1 as the Tar Heels' top doubles pair.

 

The SEC leads both polls in number of teams ranked by conference, with nine in the men's and eight in the women's. The Pac-12 is second in the men's poll, with five ranked teams, while the ACC is second in the women's, with seven, four of which are ranked in the Top 10. 

 

Each team's point total, specified below, is the sum of its ranking points from the USTA's panel of 14 voters (listed below). Each voter ranked 25 teams from Nos. 1 to 25, with the first-place team receiving 25 points and the last-place team receiving one. For control, the highest and lowest outlying ranking for each team on the ballot was removed. First-place votes were not tallied. 

 

The voting panel includes: Casey Angle, former ITA Director of Championships; Virgil Christian, former USTA Director of College Tennis; Richard Croome, former sports journalist; Sonny Dearth, sports journalist for the Daily Press (Va.) and Virginian-Pilot; Judy Dixon, former UMass head coach; J. Webb Horton, former FGCU head coach; Granger Huntress, Texas College Tennis; Bobby Knight, College Tennis Today; Brandon Moglen, Tennis Channel; Michael Patrick, former Tennessee head coach; Lisa Stone, Parenting Aces; Caitlin Thompson, Racquet Magazine; Scott Treibly, USTA; Shannon Wrege/Dallas Oliver, Tennis Recruiting Network.

UNC's William Blumberg. Photo courtesy of UNC.

The rankings will be released each Wednesday on Tennis Channel’s and the USTA’s platforms, including the USTA’s Top 25 homepage, through the conclusion of the 2021 NCAA Championships, which will be held at the USTA National Campus.

 

Men

Rank (Final 2020 Ranking) – Points

1. (2) North Carolina – 300  

2. (4) Florida – 283

3. (12) Baylor – 263

4. (7) Texas – 240

5. (16) Tennessee – 235

6. (5) Michigan – 224

T7. (9) TCU – 219

T7. (22) Virginia – 219

9. (6) Ohio State – 199

10. (8) Texas A&M – 195

11. (1) USC – 193

12. (3) Wake Forest – 178

13. (NR) Illinois – 160

14. (19) South Carolina – 122

15. (10) Georgia – 119

16. (13) NC State – 100

17. (NR) Arizona – 92

18. (11) Stanford – 79

19. (24) Mississippi – 76

20. (T17) UCF – 72

21. (NR) Mississippi State – 57

22. (15) UCLA – 56

23. (NR) Kentucky – 54

24. (NR) Arizona State – 53

25. (NR) Pepperdine – 25

 

Receiving Votes: Oklahoma State 23, Middle Tennessee State 11, VCU 10, Tulane 9, Oklahoma 4, Alabama 3, Texas Tech 1

Dropped Out: *Columbia (14), Oklahoma State (T17), Duke (20), California (21), Oklahoma (23), Miami (Fla.) (25)

*Ivy League schools have not competed in spring sports

 

Women

Rank (Final 2020 Ranking) – Points

1. (1) North Carolina – 300

2. (11) Texas – 282

3. (5) Georgia – 272

4. (2) UCLA – 252

5. (T7) Pepperdine – 242

6. (9) Florida State – 231

7. (4) Duke – 204

8. (T7) Ohio State – 194

9. (6) NC State – 190

10. (3) Stanford – 175

11. (16) Michigan – 167

12. (NR) Northwestern – 164

13. (13) Virginia – 163

14. (12) Georgia Tech – 162

15. (NR) Baylor – 149

16. (15) Vanderbilt – 113

17. (17) UCF – 106

18. (24) LSU – 99

19. (T18) California – 91

20. (NR) Auburn – 73

21. (23) Tennessee – 45

22. (NR) Kentucky – 42

23. (NR) Arkansas – 36

24. (25) Texas A&M – 31

25. (NR) Florida – 24

 

Receiving Votes: Wake Forest 19, Miami (Fla.) 15, Furman 9, Mississippi 9, Oklahoma State 6, Rice 6, Arizona State 3, USC 3, Washington State 2

Dropped Out: Oklahoma State (10), *Princeton (14), Wake Forest (T18), South Carolina (20), Miami (Fla.) (21), Arizona State (22)

*Ivy League schools have not competed in spring sports

 

Note: The Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings are available at wearecollegetennis.com.

 

 

Around College Tennis

  • Outside of Division I, one of the biggest stories this season is the record-setting performance of Georgia Gwinnett College. The Grizzlies, the top-ranked men's outfit and reigning national champions in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), made history on Monday, March 15, by winning their 138th consecutive team match. A 5-0 victory over NAIA No. 14 Cumberlands gave the Grizzlies sole possession of the all-time record for consecutive wins in college sports history, breaking a mark that has stood since the University of Miami (Florida) men's team won 137 in a row from 1957-64.

 

 

Pictured above: Makenna Jones, William Blumberg 

Photos courtesy of the University of North Carolina

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