TEMPE, AZ. – As we kick off the top ten College Tennis stories of 2022, we begin with non-Power Five (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC) players and their success this past fall.
Student-athletes from Columbia, Delaware, Penn, Pepperdine, Princeton, South Alabama, Temple, and UTSA earned Top-20 spots in the ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings sponsored by Tennis-Point with their performance in ITA national and regional events.
Columbia elite freshman Michael Zheng showcased his world-class talent this fall, winning the consolation singles championship at the 2022 ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego after claiming the ITA Northeast Regional Singles Championship just a few weeks prior.
The 2022 Wimbledon Boys Singles Finalist is ranked No. 11 in singles with several wins over top power-five players on his collegiate resume.
Frayman opened the fall with a Round of 16 finish at the 2022 ITA All-American Championship in Cary, N.C.
The senior then won the ITA Northeast Regional Singles Championship, before finishing the fall as the ITA National Fall Championship Singles Runner-Up.
Tjen climbed up the rankings this fall after winning the 2022 Battle of the Bay Singles Championship and reaching the round of 16 at the ITA Southwest Regional. Tjen amassed an impressive 9-1 record in singles, including a straight-set win over ITA Women’s Singles Preseason No. 1 Eryn Cayetano of USC.
In doubles, five of the Top-10 of the ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings come from outside of the power five.
UTSA’s Alan Magadan and Sebastian Rodriguez were one of the best stories this fall as they won the ITA Texas Regional, beating three straight Top-25 opponents, before advancing to the ITA National Fall Championships Quarterfinals a few weeks later. The No. 6-ranked pair finished 11-1 this fall, recording numerous program firsts on their run.
Penn’s Edoardo Graziani and Kevin Zhu are ranked seventh after reaching the Quarterfinals of the ITA National Fall Championships where they secured a win over the top-seeded Texas duo of Cleeve Harper and Eliot Spizzirri.
Women’s doubles is where non-power five programs have shined the brightest as Delaware, Pepperdine, and Temple each have teams in the Top-6 of the ITA Collegiate Tennis National Rankings.
Completing the non-Power Five trio in the top six are Delaware’s Adel-Byanu Abidullina and Eliza Askarova, who became the first-ever ranked team in Blue Hens history this fall after reaching the Semifinals of ITA National Fall Championships.
The success of these non-power five institutions this fall shows the depth of talent in NCAA Division I Men’s & Women’s Tennis. All these players and institutions will look to carry this momentum into the spring when play turns from individual-based to team-based for the dual-match season.
Non-Power Five Men’s Singles Top-20
- 11 – Michael Zheng, Columbia
Non-Power Five Men’s Doubles Top-20
- 6 – Alan Magadan / Sebastian Rodriguez, UTSA
- T7 – Edoardo Graziani / Kevin Zhu, Penn
- 15 – Max Westphal / Theo Winegar, Columbia
- 16 – Jack Clements / Louis Delcour, South Alabama