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CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia women’s tennis team opens the 2011 season ranked No. 24 and has two doubles teams and a school-record five singles players ranked as the ITA announced the preseason rankings Tuesday. It is the Cavaliers’ highest preseason rank since 1994, when they opened the season ranked No. 21.

“We are very excited to start the 2011 season next weekend at our Winter Invitational as a top 25 team,” said head coach Mark Guilbeau. “The preseason team ranking of 24 is a good starting point and mostly a reflection of last year’s results. With six players ranked in the singles and doubles rankings after producing some consistent, high level results throughout last spring and this fall, there is clearly the potential within this team to achieve many individual accomplishments and most importantly, lead this squad to a team standing among the very top teams in the country. Each of these players has worked hard to earn these individual rankings and they are well deserved. It is exciting and rewarding for them to be recognized at the national level and will provide great confidence and incentive while each of them push this team forward throughout the spring season. We face our strongest schedule in the history of the program and it will be a very challenging and fun season to be a part of UVa Women’s Tennis.”

In the first computer singles rankings of the season, Virginia had a school record five players ranked among the nation’s top 125 players. Previously, the Cavaliers have never had more than two singles players ranked at a time.

Three Cavalier sophomores each received their first career singles ranking, with Erin Vierra (Norwell, Mass.) at No. 29, Hana Tomljanovic (Boca Raton, Fla.) at No. 73 and Maria Fuccillo (Rockville, Md.) at No. 111. Juniors Lindsey Hardenbergh (Fairfax Station, Va.) at No. 56 and Emily Fraser (Rye, N.Y.) at No. 88 round out the group of five ranked Cavaliers.

In doubles, the Cavaliers have two of the top 16 teams in the rankings. The team of Fraser and Tomljanovic are No. 10, while Fuccillo and Rashmi Teltumbde (Mumbai, India) are No. 16.

Virginia opens the 2011 season next weekend as it hosts the UVa Winter Invitational at the Boar’s Head Sports Club Jan. 15-17. The Cavaliers open the dual match season on Jan. 22 when they host Brown (11 a.m.) and Richmond (4 p.m.) in a doubleheader at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.

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