Georgia Tech Tabbed No. 8 in Season's First National Poll

Jan. 7, 2009

ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s tennis team, back-to-back ITA National Team Indoor Champions, is ranked No. 8 in the first national poll of the 2009 season, as announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Northwestern earned the top spot in the initial poll and is followed in the preseason rankings by (in order): California, UCLA, Baylor, Stanford, Georgia, Florida, Georgia Tech, Duke and USC. The Wildcats received 17 of 34 first-place votes, edging out defending national champions, UCLA, which received 14 first-place votes while California, Georgia and Duke earned one first-place vote each.

“Our goals for our program are wrapped around giving our very best every single day,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “We are not concerned about preseason rankings. We are focused on improvement and seeing how much better we can get. Championships will come if we stay focused on the process.”

The Jackets, who have six individuals that appear in the first singles and doubles national rankings of the year, are coming off another exciting season on the Flats. Tech won its second straight ITA National Team Indoor Championship and its fourth straight Atlantic Coast Conference Regular Season title.

Junior Amanda McDowell, who won the 2008 NCAA Singles Championship, enters the 2009 rankings at No. 11. Freshman Irina Falconi opens her first dual season as the nation’s No. 23 player. Senior Christy Striplin (27) and sophomore Noelle Hickey (57) stand in the top-60. The duo of McDowell and Falconi, who teamed up to win the 2008 ITA All-American Doubles title, are ranked at No. 4 in the doubles preseason poll. Sophomore Sasha Krupina and freshman Viet Ha Ngo (46) are ranked in the top-50.

The Yellow Jackets play in two more tournaments, the UNLV Invitational and the National Collegiate Tennis Classic next weekend, prior to opening their dual match season against Auburn Jan. 28 at the Bill Moore Tennis Center beginning at 3 p.m.

Women’s Tennis ITA Division I Preseason Top 25:
1. Northwestern University (17)
2. California (1)
3. UCLA (14)
4. Baylor University
5. Stanford
6. University of Georgia (1)
7. University of Florida
8. GEORGIA TECH
9. Duke University (1)
10. University of Southern California
11. Clemson University
12. Vanderbilt University
13. University of Miami (Florida)
14. University of Arkansas
15. Fresno State
16. University of Texas at Austin
17. University of Notre Dame
18. North Carolina
19. University of Michigan
20. Florida State University
21. Arizona State University
22. College of William & Mary
23. University of Kentucky
24. University of Tennessee
25. TCU

Tech in the ITA Singles Rankings (Jan. 7, 2009)
11. Amanda McDowell
23. Irina Falconi
27. Christy Striplin
57. Noelle Hickey

Tech in the ITA Doubles Rankings (Jan. 7, 2009)
4. McDowell/Falconi
46. Krupina/Ngo

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