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Florida, FSU, Miami Strong in 2010 Pre-season Tennis Rankings

January 5, 2010 06:00 PM



 Left to right: Lauren Embree and Allie Will.

The 2010 pre-season Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings have been released, with three Florida schools holding power positions in the team and individual rankings.

The University of Florida, Florida State and the University of Miami are among 12 schools that have both their men's and women's programs ranked inside the Top 25. UF is ranked No. 11 in the men's rankings and No. 8 in the women's; FSU is No. 13 in the men's and No. 15 in the women's; and UM is No. 21 in the men's and No. 7 in the women's.

The state of Florida has two players ranked in the men's and women's individual Top 10 rankings in UF's Alexandre Lacroix at No. 7 on the men's side and UM's Laura Vallverdu at No. 7 in the women's rankings.

California, Washington, UF and Southern Cal are the only schools with two players ranked in the Top 20.

In doubles Vallverdu is ranked No. 3 with partner Gabriela Mejia, and UF freshmen Laurem Embree and Allie Will have risen to No. 5.

Florida native Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech rose to the No. 1 national ranking on the strength of winning the Riviera All-American and a finalist effort at the national indoor championships. UF freshmen and Florida natives Allie Will and Lauren Embree joined a handful of freshmen who have risen into the Top 30 singles.

"If I gaze into my always unreliable crystal ball, I would say that the Tennessee men and Florida women are most likely to move up in the team rankings, with [Virginia's] Sanam Singh and [Florida's] Lauren Embree also headed higher in the individual rankings," says junior tennis writer Colette Lewis of zootennis.com.

In last year's men's team championship match USC defeated Ohio State 4-1 to claim the Trojans' 17th NCAA team title. In the women's final the Duke Blue Devils powered their way to a 4-0 sweep of California for its first national title in women's tennis. The Duke women return four players who are currently ranked in the Top 100 but are without former freshman sensation Mallory Cecil who won the NCAA singles title before turning pro.

The second annual ITA Men's and Women's Kick-Off Weekend will take place Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 2010 at select campus host sites, with qualifiers advancing to the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Feb. 12-15.







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