HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker College men's tennis team has been ranked No. 35 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national team preseason poll. Along with the team ranking, sophomore Andre Staab is ranked No. 14 in the nation for singles.
The ITA ranking comes after the Cobras were ranked No. 8 in the Southeast region. Staab is also the No. 4 ranked singles player in the Southeast region, and the sophomore duo of William Marrafao and Martin Moncayo is ranked No. 9 in the region for doubles.
Under head coach Tom Simpson, the Cobras finished last season 18-5 and 10-0 in Conference Carolinas play. They were regular-season champions and made it all the way to the conference tournament final before falling to Limestone College. They were ranked in the Southeast region several times throughout the season and finished the 2012-2013 campaign ranked No. 39 in the nation, which was the first time the team received a national ranking in school history.
"This ranking is a reflection of how hard these guys worked last season," said Simpson. "It's a true honor to be the first men's tennis team in Coker history to be nationally ranked. With everyone returning from last year's team, we hope to fulfill our preseason ranking and continue improving as the season unfolds."
Four players were named to the all-conference team in 2013. Staab was named first team all-conference, senior James Corfield and Marrafao were named to the second team and sophomore Tom Sizeland was named to the third team.
Staab had a historic run during the 2012-2013 season. He finished 15-5 at the No. 1 singles spot and became the first individual in Coker men's tennis history to be ranked as he finished No. 32 in the nation and No. 12 in the Southeast for singles. He was named the conference's freshman of the year as well as the Division II Southeast region rookie of the year.
Staab is already off to a strong start this season as he reached the semifinals of the ITA Fall Regional tournament in September. Additionally, Marrafao and Moncayo made it to the quarterfinals in doubles of the same tournament.
Marrafao finished last season 15-5 playing at the No. 3 and No. 4 spot in singles, as well as 15-8 with partner Sizeland at No. 2 doubles. Moncayo finished last season 16-4 at the No. 6 singles spot and 18-4 with partner Corfield at No. 3 doubles.
The men's tennis team begins its season Feb. 1 at home against Lander University.
Story written by athletic media relations intern Aaron Beebe '15.