Bearcats Land Team, Two Singles on Final ITA Regional Rankings
June 15, 2017

ITA Rankings Page (link)

CINCINNATI - The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) has released its final regional rankings for the 2016-17 season with the University of Cincinnati tennis team adding more accolades to its stellar campaign by placing the team in the Top 10 rankings while also adding two individuals to the Top 20 singles list. It marks the first time since the Ohio Valley region was established in 2010 that UC has been ranked as a team and the first time it has had individuals ranked in singles.

“I’m glad that our team was able to crack the Top 10 in a very competitive Ohio Valley region,” Head Coach Eric Toth said. “Our regional play from this past season speaks for itself and no doubt helped us earn this recognition. This ranking is a nice cap to what everyone involved with our program realizes was a very successful season. And the accolades continue for Kelly Poggensee-Wei and Lauren Bellinger and are once again so well deserved. They certainly made the most of their final year with the program and have made their mark in our history books.”

As a team, the Bearcats ended the year ranked No. 9 in the Ohio Valley, thanks in part to an 11-1 record against regional foes while building a 17-7 overall mark. The 17 wins, five of which came against teams from the state of Ohio (5-0), broke the program record for spring season wins of 16 that the 2009 squad secured. On their way to their record win total, the Bearcats rolled to a 10-match winning streak from March 24-April 19, a streak that included wins over rival Xavier (4-3), Northern Kentucky (4-0) and Dayton (5-2).

Individually, Poggensee-Wei and Bellinger both ended their senior seasons with regional rankings, sitting at No. 16 and No. 19, respectively. The ranking for Poggensee-Wei is the first of her career while Bellinger maintained her previous ranking that was released January 4, 2017. Their additions to the final rankings mark the first time UC has had a singles player ranked at the end of the year in the Ohio Valley region and just the second time the Ohio Valley rankings have listed Bearcats players after Bellinger and Ali Miller ended the 2015-16 campaign ranked No. 7 in doubles.

Poggensee-Wei, the first UC student-athlete to earn an ITA award as the recipient of the 2017 ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship for the Ohio Valley region, concluded her career with a 16-5 singles and 17-6 doubles record in 2016-17, bringing her career totals to 57-27 and 58-30, respectively. For her solid play at the No. 2 singles and No. 1 double positions, Poggensee-Wei was selected to the American Athletic’s all-conference team for the second time in her career (2015).

Bellinger, who teamed with Poggensee-Wei at the No. 1 doubles position for much of the year, built an 11-8 singles record at the No. 1 position to go along with a 17-6 mark in doubles play. Bellinger capped her career with a 43-31 record in singles while adding a 56-25 mark in doubles. She also was named the AAC’s all-conference team in 2017 marking the first time she has earned the accolade.