NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Five Atlantic 10 student-athletics were among the Intercollegiate Tennis Preseason (ITA) preseason singles and doubles rankings, released Friday by the organization.
On the men's side, VCU senior Alexis Heugas ranked No. 55, while George Washington's Nikita Fomin (70) and Francisco Diaz (94) also landed in the top 100 singles. Heugas and redshirt-junior and transfer from South Carolina, Nick Jones are ranked No. 59 in doubles play.
First Team All-Conference selection Alexis Heugas helped the Rams claim their first Atlantic 10 Men's Tennis title after a battle with defending champions, George Washington. Heugas defeated Dias at No. 2 singles before clinching the title with an 8-5 win in the top doubles spot. Heugas will look to earn a third consecutive NCAA Doubles Championship berth this spring.
Last season, Fomin upset four nationally ranked opponents, highlighted by a three-set thriller over No. 28 Max Wennakoski of VCU in the A-10 Championship. The Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team selection produced a team-best overall record of 24-8 and a dual-match record of 17-6 as the Colonials' No. 1 singles competitor.
Dias entered the 2013 spring season with a No. 76 national singles ranking and posted upset victories over five top-70 opponents throughout the 2012-13 season. He was named to the A-10 All-Conference First Team for the second time in as many seasons after going 19-14 overall and posting an 11-11 record at the No. 2 singles slot in the spring.
On the women's side, VCU junior and First Team All-Conference selection, Cindy Chala, is ranked No. 50. In her first collegiate season, Chala went 15-5 at the top spot in VCU's singles lineup, earning her Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding Player honors and helping the Rams capture the 2013 A-10 Championship. Chala made it to the NCAA Singles Tournament Round of 32 before falling to Stanford's Krista Hardebeck, ranked No. 14 nationally.