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OC men’s tennis debuts in Division II regional rankings at No. 1

Coach Kris Miller has guided the Eagles to the No. 1 spot in the ITA Division II South Central Region rankings.
Coach Kris Miller has guided the Eagles to the No. 1 spot in the ITA Division II South Central Region rankings.

SKILLMAN, N.J. (Feb. 20, 2013) – Oklahoma Christian wasn’t considered for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s NCAA Division II men’s preseason rankings because the Eagles were new to Division II, with the university in the first year of the NCAA membership process.

But the ITA promised that OC would be eligible for the rankings once the Eagles played a few matches, and sure enough, after a 5-1 start, they debuted at No. 1 in the first ITA South Central Regional ranking of the regular season, released Wednesday.

The high regional ranking should assure OC a prime spot in the first regular-season national ITA Division II rankings, which will be released next Wednesday. OC finished atop last year’s NAIA rankings after winning the program’s second national championship.

OC won 7-2 at preseason national No. 11-ranked Abilene Christian (Texas) on Feb. 2 and the Eagles since have beaten two other nationally-ranked foes – No. 29 Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) and No. 47 Southeastern Oklahoma State – as well as Division III No. 15 Trinity (Texas).

In the regional rankings, OC was followed by Abilene Christian, St. Edward’s (Texas), Incarnate Word (Texas), Cameron, Midwestern State (Texas), Western New Mexico, St. Mary’s (Texas), Arkansas-Fort Smith and Metro State (Colo.).

OC will face St. Edward’s, Incarnate Word, Cameron and Midwestern State later during the season.

The first singles and doubles regional rankings of the season will be released March 20, followed a week later by the release of the initial national singles and doubles rankings.