Men's Tennis Doubles Pair Earns National Ranking
Jan. 6, 2010
NORMAL, Ill. - For the third consecutive year, a doubles pair from the Illinois State men's tennis team has received a spot among the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) national doubles rankings. Teammates Filip Miljevic and Alexander Pelaez check in at the No. 55 position in the rankings, which were released Tuesday.
Head coach Cris James recognizes the importance of the ranking for the pair.
"This is a big deal for our team and for Filip and Alex," James said. "I am proud of Filip because he has worked hard on his doubles game. Alex is a player who is just scratching the surface. Together, they have shown a tremendous amount of potential."
On the doubles court, Miljevic and Pelaez tallied five wins and only one defeat during fall season, including a tournament finals victory at the Louisville Invitational. In their most recent appearance, the duo was able to advance to the round of 16 at the ITA Midwest Regionals.
Other notables from the ITA rankings include several schools on Illinois State's spring schedule. The Redbirds will face five teams who have received a national preseason ranking. Among those teams are No. 15 Illinois, No. 32 Wisconsin, No. 48 Indiana, No. 65 Nebraska and No. 74 DePaul. Several other opponents, like Denver and South Alabama, have a good chance at becoming nationally ranked as well.
James knows the team's difficult schedule will provide numerous occasions for Illinois State to make a statement.
"We have several opportunities this season to come away with big wins against tough opponents," James said. "This will give us the opportunity to receive some national recognition and prepare to compete for a conference championship."
The Redbirds will open the spring season with a match against Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 16, before competing at the Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, which begin Jan. 22.
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