WLU Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams rank highly in Atlantic Region

West Liberty’s men’s and women’s tennis teams have both been named in the top six teams in the Atlantic Region for the first set of regional rankings. With both teams winning multiple games against regional opponents, it was no surprise to see either team feature in the initial rankings, which were released by the NCAA Division II Regional Ranking Committees this week.

The Lady Hilltoppers, who maintain a perfect 4-0 record in conference play, were ranked at number five in the region, which would see them receive an at-large bid to play in the Atlantic Region Tournament. Indiana (Pa.) remains the only team unbeaten in regional play meaning they were named at number one, while Mountain East Conference rivals Charleston and West Virginia State were at two and three, with Slippery Rock rounding out the top four. Fairmont State was the only other MEC team to feature in the top nine, being the last team named in the rankings.

Head Coach Heather Gallaghers Toppers are currently on a three-game winning streak and have built strong momentum heading into the postseason. With only two MEC games left to play, WLU sits first in the conference rankings alongside Charleston and West Virginia State as all three teams remain unbeaten in conference play.

Their most recent win came in a home matchup against Salem University, as the Hilltoppers took a perfect 7-0 sweep to take their overall record to 10-4. They took all three doubles games to claim the first point of the day before proceeding to win all four singles games in an emphatic fashion. Freshmen duo Evelina Martirosyan and Emma Arnal were impressive at No.1 and No.2, while Gemma Cliffe and Ishika Arnal each took straight-set wins at No.3 and No.4.

WLU’s men’s tennis team has had an equally successful season so far, which has led to a sixth-place regional ranking. Atlantic Region powerhouses Charleston received first place rankings, edging out Edinboro, Bluefield State and Mercyhurst for the top spot. MEC rivals West Virginia Wesleyan just pipped the Toppers to a spot in the top five, while it was two more conference opponents in Fairmont State and Davis and Elkins that completed the eight-team list.

Sitting at third in the MEC standings, head coach Ronald Hulewicz will be confident that his team has the ability to secure a place in both the conference and regional tournaments. With just two games left to play, they knew that two wins would secure third place.

Their latest win came in a 7-0 thrashing against Davis and Elkins last week, taking their overall record to 10-7. The senators started well and won at No.1 doubles before Moritz Erpel and Gianluca Gerndt won 6-1 at No.2 while Isfan Makhumudov and Daisuke Aota took the No.3 matchup to secure the doubles point for the Toppers.

Gerndt, Erpel, Makhumudov and Aota continued to perform and each won their singles matchups. Anton Schulz dropped the first set at No.2 but replied with two wins of his own before Nevio Dux secured the sweep with a win in straight sets at No.6.

For more information and to track the progress of West Liberty’s tennis teams, head to hilltoppersports.com.