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Women’s Tennis Team Ranked

The Lady Mocs doing their pregame cheer before facing 9th ranked Academy of Art.

The Florida Southern women’s tennis team moved up in the latest ITA Division II Women’s Collegiate Tennis Rankings.

The Mocs, now ranked 17th, haven’t been this high in the polls since being ranked 10th in 2015.

The team is led by Sasha Nionova, ranked 34th in singles, and Lorena Rionda, ranked 69th in the nation in singles.  In doubles, Nionova and Selin Devrimci are ranked 11th.

Senior Nionova transferred to FSC her sophomore year and believes the program has made a great step in the right direction.

“I think it’s a big achievement for us since we started as a fresh team with almost all of the team being freshmen and sophomores,” Nionova said.  “When I first came here, we weren’t ranked at all.”

Coach Trisha Riddell is in her 12th year as head coach.  Riddell believes with the talent they have on the team, they can be a force to reckon with.

“We set ourselves a goal at the beginning of the season to be a top ten team, we have the talent to be there and we will work to get there,” Riddell said.  “We have some highly ranked teams in our conference so the opportunity is still there to try and improve.”

St. Leo University, Lynn University and Barry University all remain ranked above the Mocs in the poll.  The Mocs recorded their first loss of the season to Lynn earlier in the year and then beat St. Leo.

With five teams in the Sunshine State Conference that are ranked in the top 20, the SSC is one of the tougher conferences in the country.  Junior Rionda loves the competition as she looks to improve.

“Our conference is the hardest in the country, but I really enjoy being part of it because I get to compete against really good players which helps me improve,” Rionda said.

The team not only focuses on the technical side of the game, but also the atmosphere and the mental side.  Rionda believes the atmosphere can help everyone perform better.

“What we say, I always try to ‘ACE’ the match by having a good attitude, character, and effort,” Rionda said.  “When we perform, it is best when we are all very energetic and positive.”

The Lady Mocs still have one more match left before the conference tournament.  The tournament starts April 19 and continues on for two days.

Riddell believes that if the team stays on track, it can accomplish the goal of moving into the top 10.

“We just have to take care our matches and do the best we can against our opponents.  If we do what we need to do we should at least maintain where we are or improve a little bit,” Riddel said.

The last game of the regular season will be this Friday against Florida Tech at home.  The match will honor the two senior of this year, Katie Stanford and Sasha Nionova.


Related Links:

Women’s Tennis Team Upends No. 19 Rollins

Intercollegiate Tennis Association

SSC Women’s Tennis