UK Women Earn No. 15 National Ranking
The University of Kentucky women’s tennis team collected the No. 15 spot in the preseason collegiate women’s tennis rankings released Tuesday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). The UK women earned their second preseason top-15 ranking in as many seasons on the strength of a tremendous overall fall showing by the team’s one returning letter winner and eight newcomers. The 2003 squad began its season at No. 14 before falling in the NCAA Sweet 16 with a No. 12 national ranking.
One of those eight newcomers, junior Aibika Kalsarieva, carries the No. 23 slot in the ITA’s women’s singles rankings. The transfer from the NAIA’s Lewis & Clark State College made quite an early impression in her first semester of NCAA competition, posting victories over three of the ITA’s preseason top-100 singles players.
Seventeen of Kentucky’s 22 dual-match opponents are featured in the ITA team rankings, including defending NCAA Champion Florida at No. 1, Duke at No. 4, perennial power Georgia at No. 5 and North Carolina at number nine.
The Cats begin dual-match play this Sunday, Jan. 18 in Lexington against Murray State at 10 a.m. and Louisville at 4 p.m.