Women's Tennis Moves Into Top 25

March 19, 2003

EUGENE - The Oregon women's tennis team appeared in the top 25 of the national rankings for the first time in the program's history, coming in at No. 22. The Ducks (10-8, 2-6) have six wins against ranked opponents and all but one of their losses have come against teams currently ranked in the top 15.

'It's exciting to be in the top 25,' head coach Nils Schyllander said. 'But we're looking at the end of the season, not the middle of it.'

This is the first week of the season that computer rankings have been used, which is the reason for Oregon's 13-place jump in the national standings. Oregon has defeated the No. 19, 42, 46, 60 and 62-ranked teams in the country. The Ducks' only loss to a team ranked below them came in the first match of the season to No. 35 Colorado, 4-3.

Oregon has made its move in the rankings despite being shorthanded ever since the Colorado match. In that match, Oregon lost junior Davina Mendiburu for the season to an ACL injury. Mendiburu was a key contributor for the Ducks in both singles and doubles last season, and was expected to do much of the same this season.

The Ducks have two ranked singles players in No. 18 Daria Panova and No. 40 Courtney Nagle. The two players team up to form the No. 28-ranked doubles tandem in the country. The next set of individual singles and doubles rankings will come out in a week.

'All the hard work is paying off,' Schyllander said. 'It's nice for the girls to get the recognition.'

Oregon will get tested again this next week with matches against No. 37 Virginia, Virginia Tech and No. 16 Virginia Commonwealth. The Ducks will depart for the road trip Saturday, with the Virginia match taking place on Monday.

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