DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s tennis team enters the 2019 season as the fourth-ranked squad in the country, Oracle and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced Wednesday. The Blue Devils ended the season ranked third and the current ranking is the highest to start the season since 2015.
Stanford, which concluded the 2018 ranked No. 1, captured the No. 1 overall ranking while Vanderbilt (No. 2), North Carolina (No. 3), Duke (No. 4) and Georgia (No. 5) round out the top five. In addition to the Blue Devils and Tar Heels, other ACC schools that earned a spot among the top 25 include Georgia Tech (No. 14), Florida State (No. 15), Miami (No. 17), Virginia (No. 23) and Syracuse (No. 24).
Duke is coming off a historic season where the Blue Devils finished with a 27-4 overall ledger and earned the ACC regular season title for the 21st time in program history by going 13-1. Duke qualified for the NCAA Team Championship for the 30th time and reached the semifinals for the ninth time and first since 2012.
The fall season proved to be successful for Duke with four singles players ranked in the ITA polls in November.
Coming in with the highest Blue Devil ranking is freshman Maria Mateas, locking in at No. 8. Mateas participated in the ITA All-American and left California with a 4-1 overall ledger. The top-ranked rookie in the country secured three victories over nationally ranked foes, including No. 1 Makenna Jones of North Carolina in the semifinals of All-Americans.
Junior Meible Chi jumped 21 spots on the rankings list to No. 10 in the country following a solid fall. Chi played to an 11-3 overall record that included two victories over No. 11 Carla Touly of Florida State. Sophomore Kelly Chen and senior Kaitlyn McCarthy round out Duke’s showing in the rankings at No. 37 and No. 58, respectively. Chen secured a 6-2 fall ledger prior to December while McCarthy went 7-3 as the previously-ranked No. 84 in the nation.
The Blue Devils begin the 2019 season Saturday, Jan. 12, to take on No. 9 Oklahoma State in The Bahamas, marking the program’s first international trip. The contest also marks the first NCAA dual match played outside of the United States.
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