This post was written by Hatchet reporter Aaron Esparza
After overpowering the Atlantic 10 conference with a near perfect run to its third championship in four years, the men’s tennis team is gaining more national attention.
Continuing their season-long rankings ascent, the Colonials improved five spots to No. 52 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s men’s national team rankings. GW (17-6) held the No. 57 spot prior to tournament play.
Over the weekend, the Colonials swept both Dayton, 4-0, and Richmond, 4-0, to set up a finals rematch against No. 50 VCU, who robbed GW of a championship three-peat last season.
After coming down to the seventh and final match in last year’s final, the Colonials were unexpectedly dominant Sunday, defeating the Rams 4-1 – winning all four points in singles matches – to hoist the A-10 championship trophy in Charlottesville.
Though Tuesday’s ranking was the team’s best ranking of the season, it was a limited jump considering the team has gone an impressive 9-1 since breaking the top 60 on March 18.
VCU, the only other A-10 school with a top-100 ranking, remained at the No. 50 position, despite the championship loss.
In addition to the tepid team ranking, the No. 1 doubles duo of freshman Julius Tverijonas and junior Francisco Dias dropped dramatically from No. 62 last week to No. 83 Tuesday – despite solid performances over the weekend.
The duo had play suspended against Dayton in the quarterfinals due to early wins from GW’s No. 2 and No. 3 pairs, but in the semifinals against Richmond, Tverijonas and Dias defeated Ethan and Jacob Dunbar, 8-3. Against VCU in the finals, the duo fell in a heartbreaking tiebreaker to the No. 38 ranked pairing of Alexis Heugas and Nick Jones, 8-7 (10).
With just over two weeks left before the NCAA Regionals tournament on May 9, the Colonials will look to put these mixed accolades on the back-burner as they continue their pursuit of the program’s first NCAA Regionals win.