WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Midwestern State men's and women's tennis programs both earned national recognition today in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's first poll of the season. The women open the season ranked 11th nationally while the men enter at No. 23.
The women's program's No. 11 ranking is the highest-ever by the Mustangs, breaking a previous record set during the 2015 season when MSU climbed to No. 14 to end the season. MSU returns six players from last year's 23-5 squad that advanced to the National Quarterfinals before bowing out. After a strong fall season, Daria Panforeva enters the spring ranked 20th-nationally in singles while the tandem of Bianca Duff and Maddy Coffman is the fifth-ranked duo in Division II.
On the men's side, MSU returns five players from last year's squad that advanced to the NCAA Regionals. The Mustangs have advanced to five-consecutive postseason appearances and look for a sixth under Head Coach Scott Linn. Sophomore Angel Palacios returns for the Maroon and Gold after earning LSC Freshman of the Year honors in 2017.
The men's team starts the 2018 campaign in an exhibition match against Seminole State at the MSU Tennis Center on Friday, Feb. 2 while the women open up with Collin County CC on Saturday, Feb. 3 in Wichita Falls. First serve in both matches is slated for 1 p.m.
Midwestern State returns to the friendly confines of D.L. Ligon Coliseum on Thursday for a matchup with Texas Woman's.
They're coming off a 73-56 loss at Cameron on Tuesday night, a game they led by seven at the half. This will be the fourth game in eight days for the Mustangs.
MSU (9-6, 6-3 LSC) is 6-2 on their home court this season, while TWU (6-8, 3-5) is 2-3 away from Denton.
On Wednesday, MSU head coach Noel Johnson said the quick turnaround after Tuesday's game can be a blessing and a curse, giving them a quick chance to redeem themselves, but also testing their depth, especially as they fight a bit of illness that has been going through the team this week.
Tip on Thursday is set for 6 p.m.