Florida Men's tennis to begin 2005 season rated third in ITA poll


Published: Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 5:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 5:37 p.m.

For the second year in a row, the University of Florida men's tennis team was ranked third in the initial ITA NCAA Division I Collegiate Tennis Rankings, which were released on Thursday.

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The Gators will kick off the 2005 season Friday at theSEC Indoor tournament in New Orleans, LA.

Phot by UAA

Facts

ITA NCAA Division I Collegiate Tennis Rankings

Men's Top 20

1. Baylor

2. UCLA

3. Florida

4. Georgia

5. Illinois

6. Mississippi

7. Stanford

8. Southern California

9. Duke

10. Virginia

11. Ohio State

12. LSU

13. Kentucky

14. Va. Commonwealth

15. Texas A&M

16. Rice

17. TCU

18. North Carolina

19. Tulane

20. Vanderbilt

In addition, five Gators earned spots in the singles rankings along with one UF doubles team.

Three-time All-American Hamid Mirzadeh was not ranked in the singles poll since he did not have enough results from the fall to retain his No. 4 ranking from the preseason.

"We are pleased to be ranked third in the initial 2004 poll and to

start in the top five for the third straight season," said UF head

coach Andy Jackson. "The expectations for us are high, but so are our

talent and experience levels. The rankings also reflect our desire to

play an elite schedule. We play two top 10 teams indoors and on the

road in the first two weeks of the season. The schedule also includes

No. 1 ranked Baylor and the SEC, where all 12 teams made the NCAA

Tournament last season. These severe tests will be a huge help in

preparing us for the NCAAs."

In the singles poll, newcomers Nestor Briceno and Greg Ouellette were ranked 46th and 47th, respectively. Junior Janne Holmia was ranked 50th, while senior Vladimir Obradovic was 63rd.

Redshirt junior Chris Brandi rounded out the list at 82nd. The duo of Holmia and Ouellette checked in at 22nd in the doubles poll.

The Gators were one of nine SEC teams to crack the top 25 as Georgia was fourth, Ole Miss was sixth, LSU ranked 12th, Kentucky was 13th, Vanderbilt was 20th, Arkansas was 22nd, Auburn was 23rd and Tennessee rounded out the list at 25th. Overall, each of the league teams was ranked 38th or higher.

Ready to begin his fourth season at UF, Jackson and the Gators will

begin play this weekend as they travel to New Orleans, La., for the

SEC Indoor Championships. Dual matches will begin on Jan. 23 with No. 68 UCF visiting Gainesville.

Nineteen of the 20 opponents Florida will play dual matches against in 2005 appeared in the top 75 of the ITA rankings.

UF's slate includes meetings with the last two teams to win the national title. On Feb.12, 2005, the Gators travel to Champaign, Ill., to face Illinois.

The Illini won the national crown in 2003 and finished as the runner-up last season to Baylor. Florida hosts the defending national champion Bears on March 2.

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