Women’s tennis: Virginia duo ranked In preseason Top 10

danielle collinsSeniors Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) are ranked in the top 10 to lead four players ranked in singles, and the Cavaliers are ranked seventh in the team rankings, the ITA announced on Tuesday (Jan. 5).

Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) comes in as the fourth-ranked player in the nation in the latest rankings, while Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) is the eighth-ranked player in the nation.

Virginia is one of three teams to have two players ranked in the top 10 nationally in singles.

Also ranked in singles are seniors Stephanie Nauta (Galveston, Texas) at No. 30 and Skylar Morton (Bethesda, Md.) a career-best No. 32.  It marks the first time in program history for the Cavaliers to have four players ranked in the top 50 nationally in singles heading into the season.

Collins, the 2014 NCAA singles champion, posted a 13-2 mark in the fall on her way to a pair of tournament titles as she claimed the Oracle/ITA Masters Championship and the Riviera/ITA All-American Championship. She earned an automatic berth in the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships by virtue of her championship at the Riviera. After storming to a 12-0 mark heading into the ITA National Indoors, Collins advanced to the quarterfinals of the consolation round of the event before being eliminated.

Elbaba posted a 15-3 mark on the fall and also advanced to the ITA National Indoors after claiming the ITA Atlantic Regional. She advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA National Indoors, picking up a pair of victories in her first two matches before being eliminated in the third round of play.

In doubles competition, the pairing of Collins and freshman Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, Me.) is ranked No. 19 in the nation, while Collins is also ranked No. 25 with Nauta. The duo of senior Maci Epstein (Winter Park, Fla.) and transfer Victoria Olivarez (Virginia Beach, Va.) is ranked No. 40.

Virginia opens the 2016 season on the road at No. 49 Boston College on Sunday, January 17. First serve in Chestnut Hill, Ma., is set for 10 a.m.

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