June 1, 2006
The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team was fifth in the final edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), released last week. It is the highest final ITA ranking since becoming a Division I program in 1985-86 for the Irish, who were 27-2 on the season, reached the NCAA quarterfinals, and were #2 in eight of the previous nine sets of rankings. After finishing 24th a year ago, ND was 22nd in the preseason before moving into the top five for good on Feb. 28.
It was the 13th consecutive year (and 14th time overall) that Notre Dame was listed in the final ITA rankings. The previous high final rank for the Irish was sixth in 1995-96, a season in which ND reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
Stanford – which completed its third consecutive undefeated national-championship season – was #1, followed by Florida, USC, and NCAA runner-up Miami (which eliminated the Irish). Notre Dame was the top-ranked team in the ITA’s Midwest Region for the first time since 1999-2000, supplanting Northwestern – which had held the distinction since then – for that honor.