Tennis, Anyone?

The Alabama men's tennis team moved up three spots to number 11 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll released Tuesday. Bama won three of its four matches and finished second at the Blue Gray National Tournament in Montgomery last weekend.

And junior Alabama player Joseph Jung was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, becoming the first member of the Crimson Tide squad top earn the honor this season.

The Tide (13-3, 3-1 SEC) is off to its best start since 2003. The number 11 ranking ties the 2003 squad's February 26 ranking of 11, the highest ranking since Billy Pate took over as head coach of the program that year. The ranking is the fourth highest team ranking in the history of the program.

Georgia remains number one in the polls with Ohio State, Virginia, Baylor and Notre Dame rounding out the top five. Ninth-ranked Mississippi and Number 10 LSU are the only SEC teams ahead of the Tide. Florida rounds out the top 25 at number 25.

Alabama returns to conference play this weekend as the Tide travels to Knoxville Friday to face the Tennessee Vols, then return home to host top-ranked Georgia Sunday.

Jung, a senior from Atlanta, went 3-0 in singles and 2-1 in doubles from the number 2 slot with two matches unfinished last week. With his efforts, the Crimson Tide made it to the finals of the prestigious Blue Gray National Tournament, eventually falling to No. 7 Notre Dame.

Jung, ranked 84th nationally, played two ranked individuals last weekend, in number 64 Clancy Shields of Boise State and number 57 Sheeva Parbhu of Notre Dame. Jung defeated Shields in straight sets and was behind to Parbhu before the match was called.

Jung also received the Sportsmanship Award at the Blue Gray National last weekend to add to his growing list of accomplishments. Jung is the only Alabama player to receive the award since its inception in 1985. With his efforts, Alabama turned in its highest team finish at the tournament since the 1989 squad defeated Kentucky in the finals.


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