Men’s and women’s tennis teams both rank top 10 in preseason national rankings

January 24, 2020

The Brandeis men’s and women’s teams have posted their highest-ever pre-season ranking through the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) which came out on Jan. 16, 2020. The men’s team is ranked eighth, while the women’s team is ranked 10th. 

The men’s team is one of four schools in the University Athletic Association (UAA) that were ranked in the top 10. Emory University ranked first, University of Chicago ranked fourth, the Judges eighth and Washington University in St. Louis ranked ninth.

On the women’s side, three other UAA schools were in the top 10. Emory University ranked third, Carnegie Mellon University seventh and the University of Chicago eighth. 

“It’s an honor to be ranked within the top 10 in the country, and is a testament to the hard work that all the players have put in,” said Pauri Pandian, the head coach for both the men’s and women’s teams in an article by Brandeis Judges. “We’re excited to be ranked in this spot, but hungry to rise in our pursuit of a UAA and NCAA title.” 

Coming into the 2020 season, the men’s team is returning five of their six singles starters and five of six doubles players from last season, where the Judges posted a 16-4 record. The Judges finished second in the 2019 UAA championships, with David Aizenberg ’20 voted as All-UAA first team in singles and Aizenberg and Anupreeth Coramutla ’21 receiving All-UAA first team in doubles. Jeffrey Chen ’22 and Adam Tzeng ’22 were both second team All-UAA in second singles. Chen, Coramutla and Tzeng were also second team in singles for fourth singles, second singles and third singles, respectively. Tzeng was also named Rookie of the Year during his rookie season last year by the UAA. 

The women’s team is returning three of their top six singles and doubles players after placing fourth in the 2019 UAA championships and making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament, posting a 14-8 record. The Judges reached the regional finals of the tournament before falling to eventual champions, Wesleyan University. The doubles team of Olivia Leavitt ’19 and Lauren Bertsch ’21 were ranked All-UAA first team in doubles. Diana Dehterevich ’20, Keren Khromchenko ’19 and Leavitt were also named second team All-UAA honors for first singles, third singles and second singles, respectively. Ana Hatfield ’22 and Sophia He ’19 received an honorable mention at third doubles. 

Former head coach Ben Lamanna and assistant coach Christo Schultz were also named UAA Coaching Staff of the Year on both the men’s and women’s teams. 
The ITA is the governing body of college tennis, which oversees both men’s and women’s varsity tennis for all three divisions of the NCAA, NAIA and Junior/Community College, according to its website.

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