ATLANTA--Following a historic week where the Georgia State women's tennis team again received its highest ranking in school history, the team travels to UNC Wilmington for a 11 a.m. match on Saturday.
The match will be GSU's (4-1) second Colonial Athletic Association match of the year after it defeated No. 43 William & Mary 4-2 on Jan. 28 at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend hosted by Georgia Tech. The Panthers enter the match with a school-best No. 38 ranking in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I Women's rankings. It bests the No. 40 ranking the team earned last week.
Georgia State's previous best was a No. 46 ranking after it won the CAA Championship in 2009. GSU is the highest-ranked team in the CAA this season.
"We are very excited and I think [the ranking] is a confirmation of what we've done so far this season," fifth-year head coach Miha Lisac said. "Most of the credit goes to the players. They really came out focused this spring semester during practices and matches. It's a step forward and a very important confirmation that we're doing the right things."
The Panthers made history last season at the expense of the Seahawks (2-4). GSU notched a 5-2 victory over UNC Wilmington at the Sharon Lester Tennis Center on Mar. 7 to claim its school-record ninth straight victory. The Panthers rallied after losing the doubles point as sophomore Abigail Tere-Apisah clinched the match with a 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles over Angela Sekely.
Tere-Apisah enters Sunday's match with her first career singles ranking at No. 58 in the ITA Division I Singles rankings released on Feb. 16. The Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, native is the highest-ranked singles player at GSU since Diana Nakic earned a No. 22 ranking on March 30, 2010. Tere-Apisah also earned this season's first CAA Women's Tennis Player of the Week award last Wednesday.
Georgia State will have 16 days off between matches with its last being a 7-0 win vs. ETSU on Feb. 9. It was the first 7-0 win for GSU since Apr. 3 last season at South Alabama. The Panthers' match last Sunday vs. Winthrop was canceled due to inclement weather.
The Seahawks host ETSU on Friday at 1:30 p.m. before hosting Georgia State the next day. UNC Wilmington has already played two CAA matches this year, winning 7-0 at George Mason on Jan. 22 and dropping a 4-1 match at VCU on Jan. 21. The Seahawks have not notched a victory in three tries against the Panthers.
After this match, the Panthers embark on a three-game road swing in California over Georgia State University's spring break. GSU has two ranked opponents on the docket in Sacramento State (44) and UC Santa Barbara (65) before finishing against Fresno State.
Check www.GeorgiaStateSports.com on Saturday for a full recap and a box score following the match.