GW Men's Tennis' Dias, Fomin Land Spots on ITA National Rankings
Jan. 4, 2013
SKILLMAN, N.J. - For the first time in seventh-year head coach Greg Munoz's tenure, two George Washington men's tennis student-athletes enter the 2013 spring season with national singles rankings to their credit. Sophomore standout Francisco Dias and junior transfer Nikita Fomin have debuted at No. 76 and No. 96, respectively, on the first Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis association (ITA) Division I Men's National Singles Rankings of the 2012-13 season.
In addition to owning rankings on the national scale, Dias is slated as the No. 10 singles player in the Atlantic Region. Fomin is positioned No. 11 in singles and he and doubles partner freshman Danil Zelenkov were dubbed the No. 9 pair in the Atlantic Region.
"It's great to see us get two national rankings along with three regional spots," Munoz said. "The fall season established what we can do on a national level. We put together a tough spring schedule so it will allow us several opportunities to improve not only our singles and doubles rankings, but our team ranking as a whole as well."
The Colonials made a splash this fall as they collectively upset nine nationally ranked opponents - seven singles and two doubles - at a pair of prestigious fall tournaments in the UVA Ranked +1 Invitational and the ITA/D'Novo All-American Championships.
Dias - who entered the fall season as the No. 89 player in the country on the ITA National Preseason Rankings - earned upsets over then-No. 68 Nelson Vick of North Carolina, No. 58 Chris Simpson of LSU, No. 31 Spencer Newman of Michigan and No. 17 Bob van Overbeek of Florida to move up the rankings. Fomin - who competed for the Colonials for the first time this fall - upset No. 70 Sebastian Stiefelmeyer of Louisville, No. 66 Aaron Pfister of Michigan State and No. 52 Alexis Huegas from VCU. The doubles pair of Fomin and Zelenkov also downed Penn State's No. 28 team in the country in Russell Bader and Roman Trkulja.
After helping GW to its second straight A-10 title and second-ever NCAA Tournament berth as the top singles and doubles competitor last spring, Dias became the first-ever Atlantic 10 men's tennis student-athlete to earn both the Most Outstanding Performer and Most Outstanding Rookie Performer awards. In addition, he also earned a spot on the A-10 All-Conference First Team and was tabbed the A-10 Rookie Performer of the Week a league-high four times.
A transfer from Stony Brook, Fomin was an America East All-Conference First Team selection for both singles and doubles last season and was dubbed America East Rookie of the Year in 2009. The Moscow, Russia, native wrapped his final season at SBU as the No. 14 player in the Northeast Region.
GW as a squad looks to break into the rankings as the Colonials are slated to compete against seven nationally ranked opponents throughout the spring season. In search of its third consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship and third straight NCAA Tournament appearance, GW will face a tough competitor in conference newcomer VCU, which enters the season with an ITA ranking of No. 31. The Colonials open their campaign on Saturday, Jan. 26 against No. 69 Cornell at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va., at 5:30 p.m.