SAN ANTONIO — St. Mary’s Tennis has eyed national rankings for both the men’s and women’s programs with each at their best and first national ranking in history, including the first individual national ranking on the women's side in newcomer Marianna Rong.
For the first time in the known women’s tennis program’s history, Rong (So., Jinan, China) has been ranked the 28th-best player in the nation, announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The nationally ranked player adds much to her now nationally ranked team of Rattlers as St. Mary’s was named the No. 48 team in the nation, also for the first time in the program’s history.
On the men’s court, last season showcased the first time in history the Rattlers were ranked, breaking in at No. 50. Apparently used to the national spotlight, the Rattlers were once again represented, jumping six spots to be ranked No. 44 in the nation in the ITA polls.
At the No. 1 spot for both the men’s and women’s tennis polls is Armstrong Atlantic. St. Mary’s is one of three Heartland Conference schools in the national rankings for the women’s teams, with rival St. Edward’s peaking at No. 21 and Dallas Baptist closing it out at No. 50. However, Rong is the only conference member to earn an individual ranking on either of the men’s and women’s polls. The Rattlers’ men are one of two Heartland Conference teams in the ITA, again with rival St. Edward’s leading at No. 15.
With both sides represented in the ITA rankings, including the only Heartland Conference member to receive a national ranking in Rong, St. Mary’s Tennis is already swinging at history in the making and at its best seasons on record.
St. Mary’s University, as a Catholic Marianist University, fosters the formation of people in faith and educates leaders for the common good through community service, integrated liberal arts and professional education, and academic excellence. The University has six athletic national titles: men’s basketball (1989–NAIA), baseball (2001–NCAA Div. II), softball (1986–NAIA and 2002–NCAA Div. II) and an individual national champion in men’s golf (2006–NCAA Div. II) and a national academic championship in men’s golf (2009–NCAA Div. II). St. Mary’s also had more than 40 percent of its athletes named to conference, regional and/or national honor rolls this past year. St. Mary’s student–athletes graduation rate is 65 percent, higher than the NCAA Division II average of 55 percent. To learn more about St. Mary's, visit www.stmarytx.edu/athletics.