After Indoor Title Dawgs #1

ATHENS ­ The University of Georgia men¹s tennis team (8-0), fresh off of its ITA Team Indoor National Championship win, has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in the most recent Fila Intercollegiate Tennis National Rankings,announced by the ITA Wednesday afternoon. Junior John Isner has also garnered the country¹s top singles ranking as well.

³We are very excited about reaching the number-one ranking,² said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. ³But the most important thing is the way we went about getting it. The way we played under pressure and handled every match well this weekend at the Indoor Championships is what we need to focus on. We need to keep building on the lessons we learned in Seattle and keep doing the things that have gotten us to the number-one ranking.

³At the same time, we are not going to fall in love with the rankings,² continued Diaz. ³We know that it is just one tournament that has gotten us here and we still have a lot of important matches coming up before we start the conference portion of the season in about two weeks. Those matches are what will determine how we end up finishing in the long run.²

Georgia is currently undefeated with an 8-0 record. During its run to the Indoor National Championship, Georgia took down three Top-10 teams including then-ranked No. 7 UCLA, No. 3 Illinois and No. 4 Pepperdine in the finals.

In the latest individual rankings, Isner is joined by three fellow Bulldogs. Sophomore Luis Flores received his first collegiate ranking, coming in at No. 21. Senior captain Strahinja Bobusic remained in the Top 50, but fell from No. 12 to No. 37. Junior Matic Omerzel advanced up the rankings by 24 spots, moving from No. 96 to No. 72.

³I¹m very happy for John and all of the guys who are ranked right now,² said Diaz. ³It is well-deserved. We also know that the guys who are not ranked at this time still have a great opportunity to climb into the rankings in the upcoming weeks.²

In the doubles rankings, Bobusic and fellow senior captain Colin Purcell remained in the Top 10, slipping one spot from No. 6 to No. 7. Omerzel and Flores received their first ranking as a tandem, hitting the chart at No. 24. Finally, the defending NCAA Doubles Champion duo of Isner and senior captain Antonio Ruiz got back into the rankings, coming in at No. 32. The Georgia pair was not previously ranked for the 2006 season because they did not play together in the fall.

The SEC continues to be the most well-represented conference in the rankings, placing three teams in the Top 10 (Mississippi No. 4, Florida No. 7), and four more squads in the Top 25 (LSU No. 13, Mississippi State No. 19, Tennessee No. 20, Arkansas No. 25).

The No. 1 ranking for the Bulldogs is their first since 2002, which was achieved during a season in which they played for the NCAA National Championship, but fell to USC in the final match.


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