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Duke ranked eighth in first fila collegiate tennis team rankings

Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2006

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Durham, N.C. - The Duke men’s tennis team debuted at No. 8 in the first FILA Collegiate Tennis team rankings released on Tuesday. The Blue Devils also had two singles players and one doubles teams among the rankings.

With the eighth place ranking, Duke has now been ranked in the top ten in 15 of the past 16 seasons. They are coming off a 20-6 season in 2005 and a trip to the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils are one of 10 ACC teams ranked among the top-75, including Virginia, which received the top spot. Duke’s 2006 schedule features 16 ranked opponents.

“I assumed we would be ranked around where we are,” said Head Coach Jay Lapidus. “There are a lot of good teams out there but I think we are right there with the best teams.”

Ludovic Walter and Jonathan Stokke were each ranked in the FILA Collegiate Tennis singles rankings. Walter, a senior from Vannes, France, is ranked in the ninth spot. He had a strong finish in the fall, advancing to the championship match at the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. He also advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA Mideast Regionals and finished with a 9-4 mark. He was ranked second in the preseason ITA rankings.

Stokke, a senior from Chapel Hill, N.C., begins the spring season ranked 20th. He started the fall ranked No. 53 in the preseason rankings. He advanced to the quarterfinals of the Southern Intercollegiates and won five matches for a share of the championship at the Mideast Regionals. After losing his first match at the National Indoor Championships, Stokke won three matches to advance to the consolation finals. He finished the fall with a singles record of 14-6.

Stokke and Joey Atas earned a No. 9 ranking in doubles after teaming up for an 11-3 record in the fall. They won five matches to claim the championship at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships. They also won five matches at the Mideast Regional Championships before losing in the finals.

“They are capable of playing at a high level,” said Lapidus. “We are going to experiment with different players over the next few weeks but there is no question that they are a good combination and when they are on they are tought to beat.”

The Blue Devils will open up the season in Miami at the Hidden Dual Tournament. They will face Michigan at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Texas at 2 p.m. on Sunday and Miami at 1 p.m. on Monday. The first official dual meet will be at 6 p.m. against Old Dominion on January 29 in Durham.

 
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