Dec. 8, 2006
ATLANTA – All eight members of the Georgia Tech women’s tennis team have earned regional rankings in the Fall Edition of the South Region Rankings, which were released Friday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
Yellow Jacket players own eight of the top 26 spots in the rankings, including six in the top-20, four in the top-10 and two in the top three.
“I really felt that our team had a strong showing this fall, and these rankings are reflective of the respect that our team has across the region and in the nation,” said Georgia Tech head coach Bryan Shelton. “We certainly have a lot of depth, with all eight of our players being ranked regionally. I’m not sure if there has ever been an instance where another team has had their entire team to be regionally ranked before.”
Three-time All-American Kristi Miller is the Yellow Jackets’ top-ranked player, standing at No. 2 in both the most recent national and region rankings, while freshman sensation Kirsten Flower makes her first regional ranking appearance at No. 3. The duo advanced to the singles final of the Wilson/ITA South Region Championship earlier this fall, with Miller pulling out a 7-6, 7-6 win over the rookie in the championship match.
After surprising much of the nation with her stellar play this fall, newcomer Amanda McDowell appears in the top-10 in her first-ever regional ranking as well, standing at No. 8 in the South Region. The freshman from Atlanta led the Yellow Jackets with 13 singles wins in the fall and appeared in two tournament finals while also earning a consolation title.
Also cracking the top-10 is senior Alison Silverio, who has quietly put together one of the most successful careers in Yellow Jacket history, as she stands fourth in the Georgia Tech record books with 77 career doubles wins and sixth with 87 career singles victories. The Louisville, Ohio native stands at No. 10 in the rankings.
Appearing just two slots behind Silverio in the rankings is Tech’s third freshman standout, Chesterfield, Mo., native Amanda Craddock, who burst onto the collegiate scene with nine singles and 10 doubles victories in her first fall campaign. Teaming with junior Whitney McCray, the rookie also captured two doubles titles during the fall after earning the singles championship in her first collegiate tournament.
Coming in at No. 20 in the Region Rankings is senior Tarryn Rudman, who earned one singles title and advanced to the finals of another before concluding the fall with an 11-4 record. The Johannesburg, South Africa native also currently owns the Georgia Tech career record with a .778 doubles winning percentage in her first 1.5 seasons on the Flats.
Rounding out the Yellow Jackets in the regional rankings are McCray and Christy Striplin, who stand at Nos. 25 and 26, respectively. McCray earned a total of three tournament titles (one singles, two doubles) during the fall, winning nine singles and nine doubles matches. Striplin, the team’s lone sophomore, went 12-3 in her second fall campaign, earning the Rice Invitational Singles Title and advancing to the finals of the Kitty Harrison Invitational.
“It’s nice to know that we have extended depth this season,” added Shelton, who is in his eighth season at the program’s helm, “as well as a lot of strength at the top of the lineup.”
The Jackets also had two doubles teams to earn top-10 rankings in the South Region, as Miller and Silverio stand at No. 4 and Craddock and McCray are No. 9.
For their efforts this fall, as well as their finish in 2006, where the team advanced to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Championships after capturing their second-straight ACC Championship, the Yellow Jackets have been invited to participate in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, hosted by the University of Wisconsin Feb. 1-4.
The field consists of Baylor, BYU, Cal, Clemson, Miami, UNC, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Pepperdine, Stanford, TCU, UCLA, Vanderbilt, VCU and host Wisconsin.
“It’s a nice honor to be considered one of the top teams in the country,” said Shelton. “They look at last year’s performance but also at where the teams are now and where they are projected to be. Based on those two things, we have been invited back. I think that we have a very strong team this year, and, based on the fall, the strongest team that we’ve ever assembled here, so it’s pretty exciting for us.”