In conjunction with UTR, the ITA is highlighting conferences around the nation and the teams within them. Teams are ranked based on their UTR Power 6 from lowest to highest.
What is the Power 6?
“Power 6 is a metric created and developed by UTR to measure the strength of a College team. It is calculated by adding up the individual UTRs of the top-6 players on a team and then showing the exact Power 6 including the two decimals.” – UTR
Learn more about UTR Power 6 here.
8. Bluefield | 30.40
The Bluefield Rams are fierce contenders in the NAIA and NCCAA. In 2018, the men made their first appearance as a team in the NCCAA national tournament. The Rams made a run to the semifinals — their best result in program history. Academically, the team was recognized by the ITA for their excellence in the classroom and was named to the All-Academic teams list. The AAC also named Bluefield’s Michael Gutu to the Champions of Character Team. The Champions of Character Team recognizes student-athletes who represent the core values of respect, integrity, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.
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7. SCAD Atlanta | 50.84
The SCAD Atlanta Bees have a strong tennis history. Their highest ranking within recent history was in 2017 when they were ranked the 18th-best team in the nation. Over the past couple of years, SCAD has had a consistent presence in the top 25 NAIA national rankings. In 2014, the Bees put together a season for the history books. The team remained undefeated in AAC play and won their opening match at the national tournament.
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6. Milligan | 55.72
The Milligan Buffaloes are known around the AAC to be fierce competitors. Their all-time win leader is Jackson Lenoir. He collected 72 combined singles and doubles victories while playing for Milligan. Percentage-wise, Ryan Reynolds stands out by having an impressive singles win percentage of over 76%. Reynolds is also the current head coach for the men and the women. With the men’s team, he won the AAC Coach of the Year Award in 2013. During the same year, Reynolds guided the Buffaloes to the regular season AAC crown — the first regular season championship in the history of the men’s program.
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5. Point | 60.97
The Point University Seahawks have built their program to be one of the best in the nation. After solid matchplay in the years prior, the Seahawks saw one of their most successful seasons in 2019. After going 7-0 in conference play, and 16-7 overall, the team won the AAC for the first time ever. During the national tournament, the Seahawks reached the Elite Eight. The winningest player in Point’s history was Rafa Hewett with 60 singles victories between 2013 to 2017.
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4. Montreat | 61.84
The Montreat Cavaliers are a well-respected program in the Southeast region. Under the guidance of Coach Mic Moore, the team recorded their highest ever NAIA ranking at No. 9 in the nation. Recently at the ITA Southeast Regionals, sophomore Mohamed Braham reached the finals of the championship. Under previous coach Andrew Cobb, players were well-known for their on-court work, academic excellence, and character.
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3. Union | 63.75
The Union College Bulldogs were reinstated after a five year hiatus in 2005 and have thrived ever since. UC has earned multiple ITA All-American awards since its reinstatement, with the first one coming in 2010 in singles. In recent history, the Bulldogs have competed for the AAC crown as well as in the NAIA national championship tournament. Between 2005 and 2010, the team had an unbelievable record in AAC play. After being reinstated the Bulldogs justified this decision by going 33-1 over six years of conference play.
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2. Tennessee Wesleyan | 67.18
The Tennessee Wesleyan College Bulldogs have a historic tennis program. During the 2020 season, the Bulldogs collected two regional championship titles, as well as third-place finish at last year’s ITA Cup. Additionally, TWC was ranked as high as No. 9 in the ITA rankings, the best program ranking ever. Since 2018, Tennessee Wesleyan has been showing constant improvement. In 2020, two Bulldogs were named All-Americans — Valentin Popescu (singles & doubles) and Gregorio Magnarelli (doubles).
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1. Reinhardt | 68.08
The Reinhardt University Eagles are coming off one of their most successful decade in school history. In 2018, RU made their first ever appearance in a national NAIA semifinal round after winning their first two matches of the tournament. During the same season, the Eagles recorded their best season record going 18-4. During the shortened Covid-19 season, the team was ranked within the top five teams in the nation. Academically, the Eagles were named to the ITA All-Academic team. Additionally, Martin Mendoza was named an ITA All-American for his success on the court.
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UTR Top 10 Men: AAC
- Gabriel Ortiz, Tennessee Wesleyan, 12.27
- Artem Vasheshnikov, Reinhardt, 12.25
- Adam Nagoudi, Montreat, 11.68
- Masumi Komada, Reinhardt, 11.61
- Joe Klokow, Point, 11.54
- Valentin Popescu, Tennessee Wesleyan, 11.48
- Esteban Federico Sued, Reinhardt, 11.35
- Jordi Puig Molina, Reinhardt, 11.30
- Jesus Fernandez, Tennessee Wesleyan, 11.26
- Mohamed Braham, Montreat, 11.25
Interested in learning more about the teams in the Appalachian Athletic Conference? Check out our NAIA Men Teams page to connect with them on social media and learn more!