Skillman, N.J. – The Concordia College Clippers men's tennis team have been ranked No. 6 in the nation and No. 1 in the East Region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) in their preseason rankings. The rankings take into account only NCAA Division II member institutions while the women are ranked 33rd in the nation and 3rd in the East Region.
The men earned the 6th place ranking in Division II with two of the top five singles players hailing from Concordia. Junior Juuso Ojanen (Varkaus, Finland) earned the 4th singles position after he claimed the ITA East Region Singles "A" Draw Championship this past fall and claimed a 5th place finish at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships. Senior Daniele Piludu (Cagliari, Italy) was picked as the 5th-ranked singles player in the nation after falling in the ITA East Region Singles "A" Draw Quarterfinals during the fall. Rounding out the national singles rankings for the Clippers is junior Benas Majauskas (Vilnius, Lithuania) with a ranking of 18th after falling to Ojanen in the ITA East Region Singles "A" Draw Championship match.
Within doubles on the national level, the duo of Piludu/Majauskas is now ranked the No. 1 ranked doubles team in Division II after they claimed the ITA East Region Doubles "A" Draw Championship and the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Division II Doubles Championship in October. Claiming the 25th doubles ranking in the nation is the duo of freshman Pulat Babadjanov (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) and Ojanen as the duo fell in the ITA East Region Doubles "A" Draw Championship match to Piludu/Majauskas.
In the East Region Concordia holds on to their No. 1 team ranking as the top four singles players are members of the Clippers and three of the top four doubles teams are from Concordia. Ojanen and Piludu are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the East Region singles rankings while Majauskas is 3rd and junior Tomasz Olfans (Opole, Poland) is 4th. For doubles, Piludu/Majauskas is 1st, Ojanen/Babadjanov are 2nd, and the duo of senior Ricardo Frey (Curitiba, Brazil) and Olfans are 4th.
On the women's side the Clippers, who recently captured their fourth straight CACC Championship, hold a national ranking of 33rd as freshman Costanza Mecchi (Rome, Italy) is ranked 43rd in singles. Mecchi finished the CACC regular season with an undefeated record in singles and doubles play, a combined 16-0 during the fall and did not allow any opponent to capture a victory during singles competition. She was named the CACC Player and Rookie of the Year and then was named the CACC Championship Tournament MVP.
In the East Region, Costanza is ranked the 4th singles player while junior Linda Eliasson (Gothenburg, Sweden) grabbed the 10th singles ranking and freshman Stefanie Canals-Baker (Pollensa, Islas Baleares, Spain) is the 15th singles player. For doubles, the duo of Mecchi and Canals-Baker are ranked 5th in the region and the top duo in the CACC.
Be sure to visit ConcordiaClippers.com for the tennis team's upcoming spring schedules when they are released later this winter.