On the heels of back to back top 15 runs at the NJCAA National Tournament, the Seward County Men’s Tennis team has been ranked #8 in the country in the ITA’s 2012 Preseason poll. In the same recently released polls, six Saints have been ranked inside the top 100 individual players in the country led by sophomore Cristiano Mendes who is ranked 12th.

In the team poll, the Saints find themselves at #8, behind just #7 Cowley in the regional scene. Laredo is the preseason pick as the top team followed in order by Tyler Vincennes, Georgia Perimeter, and Collin County to round out the top 5. The only other Kansas squad to find themselves in the top 20 besides the Saints and Tigers was Johnson County who starts the year at #10.
Individually the Saints show very well in the rankings. Six players are ranked inside the top 100 players including three in the top 40. Cristiano Mendes is Seward’s top ranked player at #13 after a season in which he finished 5-6 as a freshman while Felipe Cruz is #36 and Raphael Machado is #38. Seward’s top point getter from a year ago, Lucas Izkovitz is ranked #63 while newcomers Riccardo Bassani and Matt Maguire wrap up the Saints in the top 100 at #78 and #92 respectively.
A pair of Saints doubles teams were picked in the top 20 as Cruz/Machado earn a #18 mark following a consolation bracket championship at the NJCAA National Tournament a year ago while Izkovitz and his partner Tena are ranked 9th.