BUCKHANNON — West Virginia Wesleyan cracked the national rankings in men's tennis for the second consecutive year, coming in at No.42 in the Top 50 teams published by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
The Bobcats, 3-5 overall but 3-3 against DII competition, have wins over previously ranked Chowan University and Belmont Abbey during road swings into North Carolina, and have now appeared in the rankings for an unprecedented fifth consecutive ranking period.
Furthermore, the Bobcat doubles duo of Maycon Santos Dias and Carlos Dodero find themselves ranked at No.19 nationally.
The tandem, the Bobcats first nationally ranked pair since 2014, boast wins over top pairs from Queens, Belmont Abbey, Chowan, North Carolina Wesleyan and Mercyhurst.
Former 'Cats Joel Izquierdo and Aitor Reparaz topped out at No. 8 in the fall 2014 poll after winning the ITA Regional title that year and qualifying for the national event.
Santos Dias and Dodero become the first ranked Bobcats in five years with the honor, based on a point system awarded for wins against other ranked teams.
Team-wise, all three of the Bobcats' losses were to teams ranked in the top 75, and two were to Top 30 programs Mercyhurst (29) and Queens University of Charlotte (24).
Wesleyan held seven match points against the Lakers in their dual, or else the Bobcats would be higher in the poll.
“Of course we are honored to be considered a program with a national level of talent and quality,” said head coach Marc Walters. “As with any team honor, the credit goes to the kids who go out, travel, and grind away to get there. It has been a team goal to get the ranking, and they are working to keep us in there.”