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Jan. 6, 2015

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s tennis team is ranked sixth in the 2015 preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings and junior All-American Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) is the No. 1 ranked player in singles, the ITA announced Tuesday (Jan. 6).

The Cavaliers’ No. 6 preseason ranking marks a program-best, eclipsing the No. 9 ranking to begin the 2012 season. Virginia returns 2014 NCAA Singles champion Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Stephanie Nauta (Galveston, Texas), Maci Epstein (Winter Park, Fla.), Marie Faure (Toulouse, France) and Elbaba from last year’s ACC championship that won a school-best 24 matches and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time in program history.

Elbaba (12-2) becomes the first UVa women’s tennis player to top the rankings after winning the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Singles Championships in November. In addition to Elbaba, Nauta is ranked a career-best No. 16 after posting a team-best 15-4 fall mark and winning the USTA/ITA Atlantic Region singles title in October. Collins is ranked No. 42 after missing most of the fall season with a wrist injury.

Newcomers Skylar Morton (Bethesda, Md.) and Cassie Mercer (Huntington, W.Va.) are ranked No. 11 in doubles after posting an 11-3 fall record and winning the USTA/ITA Atlantic Region doubles title in October. Elbaba and Nauta remain No. 22 in doubles.

The Cavaliers open the 2015 season against in-state rival VCU on Sunday, Jan. 18 at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. First serve is set for 12 p.m.

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