Sophomores Johnson and Falconi Top Campbell ITA Individual Rankings; NCAA Champs Southern Cal and Duke Enter Season at No. 1
The first team rankings of the season were released today by the ITA, and the voters selected NCAA champions Southern California and Duke for the top spots. The USC men received 46 of the 53 first place votes cast, while Virginia, in second place, received five. The Duke women were much less fancied by the voters; they received 21 first place votes, with Florida receiving the second-highest number of first place votes, 12, but the Gators find themselves lodged at No. 8. Northwestern is second behind Duke; they received nine first place votes.
That these rankings will change dramatically after the Team Indoor Championships next month is a given, and when the first computer-generated rankings come out in March, there will also be some shuffling. A look at the new individual rankings, which were voted on in the preseason, but are now computer-generated after the fall season's results, bears this out.
Steve Johnson of Southern Cal won the ITA Indoor and was a semifinalist at the All-American the past fall; those results have moved him from 18th in the preseason to the top spot, while Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State, the preseason No. 1, has fallen to No. 15. Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech won the Riviera All-American and was a finalist at the Indoor, so she has moved from eighth to the top spot, while preseason No. 1 Maria Mosolova of Northwestern has dropped to No. 12.
Indoor champions Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher of Stanford are the top-ranked doubles team, while All-American champions Natalie Pluskota and Caitlin Whoriskey of Tennessee are No. 1 in the women's rankings.
As far as assessing who will be strongest at the top of the lineup, Virginia has three men--Michael Shabaz (3), Sanam Singh (12) and Jarmere Jenkins (16)--in the top 20; USC, Texas and Wisconsin have two. On the women's side, no school has three, with Cal, Washington, Florida and Southern Cal featuring two players in the top 20.
Freshmen zooming into the top 30 include Allie Will and Lauren Embree of Florida, Mallory Burdette of Stanford, Danielle Lao of USC and Aeriel Ellis of Texas. On the men's side, Virginia's Jenkins, Rhyne Williams of Tennessee and Ryan Lipman at Vanderbilt are all ranked in the top 30.
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 Sanam Singh and Lauren Embree also headed higher in the individual rankings.
For the complete team and individual rankings, see the ITA website.