DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s tennis team enters the 2018 season ranked No. 9 in the nation, Oracle and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced Wednesday. The Blue Devils wrapped up the 2017 campaign ranked 12th in the country by the ITA.
Stanford, which concluded the 2017 ranked No. 2, captured the No. 1 overall ranking, while No. 2 Vanderbilt, No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Georgia and No. 5 North Carolina rounded out the top five. In addition to Duke and North Carolina, other ACC schools that earned a spot among the top 25 included No. 7 Georgia Tech and No. 19 Miami.
Duke is coming off an impressive fall season that saw four singles players and two doubles tandems ranked in the ITA polls in November. Senior Samantha Harris and freshman Kelly Chen are currently the top-ranked doubles pair in the country. Harris and Chen are the first Blue Devils to top a national poll since Mallory Cecil was the number one ranked singles player in the final poll of the 2009 season. Right behind them ranked second are juniors Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy. Harris and Chen played into the semifinals of both the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships and the Oracle ITA Fall National Championships while Hamlin and McCarthy won the title at the All-American Championships. Duke is the first school to have the top two ranked doubles pairs since Stanford did in 1990.
On the singles list, Harris leads the way, at seventh in the nation. Harris reached the final in consecutive tournaments, as she was the runner-up at both the ITA Carolina Regional Championships and the Fall National Championships. Chen is ranked 58th and McCarthy is not far behind in 64th. Rounding out the Blue Devils on the list is sophomore Meible Chi who is tied for 100th.
The Blue Devils begin the 2018 season Wednesday, Jan. 17, taking the Hills Family Trip to Honolulu, HI., for the two-day Rainbow Invitational.