Dec. 12, 2001
PRINCETON, N.J. - Two Bulldogs found themselves in the top 65 of the national rankings when the Intercollegiate Tennis Association released the fall rankings Tuesday afternoon. Junior Brandon Wagner broke into the top 10 for the first time in his career, while Nicolas Boeker checked in at No. 65. Stanford's K.J. Hippensteel was the men's top ranked player.
Wagner, who was the ITA regional champion this fall, is No. 8 in the latest rankings, marking the first time the Tampa native has cracked the top 10. Wagner rounded out the fall with a quarterfinal appearance at the Omni Hotels National Indoor Championships in Dallas, Texas. He posted a 16-3 record in the fall, including a 7-3 mark against ranked opponents.
"Having him in the top 10 among the elite players in the country is a great tribute to Brandon's fall record," said head coach Manuel Diaz. "I told him it will require the same hard work and work eithic throughout the whole season."
Nicolas Boeker makes his first appearance in the top 100, as the junior posted an 10-5 slate during the fall, including a 4-3 mark against ranked opponents. He won five matches in three days to capture the singles title at the Georgia Tech Fall Classic in Atlanta--the first collegiate tournament victory of his career. He topped three ranked players to reached the quarterfinals of the Omni Hotels Regional Championship before falling to No. 16 and eventual finalist Mario Toledo of Tennessee.
"Nic had a great finish to the fall season by reaching the quarterfinals of the regional championship and then played a Futures tournament in California, winning several great matches out there," added Diaz. "I believe he will be a force to be reckoned with in the Southeastern Conference.
"It is great to have to have both guys in the rankings, and it is great recognition for our program," said Diaz.
Three of Georgia's top players that were not in the fall rankings were Matias Boeker, Bo Hodge and Lesley Joseph. All three were ranked in the preseason top 15, including Boeker who took top honors in the Sept. 13 rankings. Those three players were not eligible for the fall rankings due to the fact they competed in tournaments on the professional tour, playing as amatuers, throughout the fall and will return to collegiate action in January.
This is the second national singles and doubles rankings this 2001-02 season. The preseason national team rankings debut Jan. 8, 2002. The polls were determined by the ITA National Rankings Committees. Beginning in February the rankings will be determined by the ITA's computer ranking formula. The complete top 110 singles and top 60 doubles can be found at www.itatennis.com
The fall collegiate tennis season consists of individual competition, highlighted by two national championship tournaments - the ITA Men's All-American Championships and the Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. The team season begins in January and is capped by the season-ending NCAA Championships in May.