SAINT LEO, Fla. – In preparation for the 2014 championship segment the International Tennis Association (ITA) released its preseason national and regional rankings and the Lions will head into their season ranked eighth in the nation and fourth in the NCAA South Region.
The ranking is on par with a team that finished play in the South Region title match and third in the Sunshine State Conference, exiting both tournaments with losses to the eventual national champion Barry Buccaneers, who went undefeated in 2013.
The Lions, ranked as high as fifth nationally to end 2013, saw Ismail Lemtouni 50th in the national singles ranking. Lemtouni and teammate Aloua Adjenak at back-to-back in the regional rankings with Lemtouni ranked 18th and Adjenak ranked 19th in singles.
"We look forward to the upcoming semester with confidence in our leadership, talent and depth to our men's team," Acting Head Coach Martin Parkes said. "Returning with almost the full lineup from last year and adding another student-athlete this Spring to our squad, I remain extremely optimistic with our teams unity, senior experience and depth in both singles and doubles that we can achieve great things this semester."
Parkes continued, "We continue to enjoy the challenges of playing in the toughest region and conference in the country, and set our sights firmly on being one of the top two teams in our region and achieve a berth to Nationals, while supporting our athletic departments goal of another Mayor's Cup."
The Lions will put the No. 8 national ranking to the test beginning February 1, 2014 when they travel to St. Augustine to face Flagler College in the season's first match. Saint Leo will head into the season looking to continue its rise in the Sunshine State Conference with sights set firmly on another NCAA Tournament appearance.
The SSC placed four schools in the top 10 nationally with Barry (1), Lynn (4) and Rollins (9) also earning recognition.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the nationally ranked Saint Leo men's tennis team, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.