March 11, 2014
Pitt tennis freshman Audrey Ann Blakely has earned Pitt's first-ever Intercollegiate Tennis Association's singles ranking after her outstanding start to the 2014 spring season.
Blakely (Wyomissing, Pa./Wyomissing Area) enters the rankings tied for 86th in the nation. The ITA bi-weekly rankings run from 1-125.
"Audrey Ann definitely deserves all the credit for earning the #86 spot in the rankings this week," said first year head coach Alex Santos. "It is very special to be a ranked player but it is unique to be the first ranked tennis player ever for the University of Pittsburgh. It shows that hard work and sacrifice does pay off, and that ultimately things fall into place when you're following the right path. You play ACC tennis to have the opportunity to play the best teams and players in the country. That means that you will be facing great challenges every time you step on the tennis court, but at the same time it gives you the opportunity to reach your full potential. Audrey Ann is a tremendous competitor and has been playing incredible tennis for a consistent period of time. Our goal is to keep raising the bar for the program and this is one step in the right direction. We are very proud of Audrey Ann."
Under Santos, the Pitt rookie has charged out to a 6-2 dual match record on the year, including 3-2 in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. On Friday against 13-ranked Miami, Blakely defeated the 40th-ranked player in the nation, Kelsey Laurente, 7-5, 6-1. She followed up that performance with a closely-contested battle against No. 41-ranked Yana Koroleva of 15th-ranked Clemson, falling 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 12-10.
Blakely and the Panthers will host cross-town rival Duquesne on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Alpha Tennis and Fitness. Admission is free to the public.