Special to the E-T

Tarleton Sports Information

SKILLMAN, N.J. - The Tarleton TexAnn tennis team will begin the spring season ranked where they finished last season, No. 23 in the nation and No. 4 in the Central Region.

“This is a good accomplishment and good recognition for the players in our program considering we played our fall tournaments with an incomplete lineup,” said head coach Lance Drake.

A rash of injuries kept the TexAnns from being 100 percent healthy in any of their matches during the fall, but Drake hopes that the off season and Christmas break will give the TexAnns a chance to heal and recuperate.

“Our conditioning program has benefited us well in the past, but this fall, for some reason, the injury bug reared its ugly head,” said Drake. “Even with the injuries they went out and competed hard. They showed some physical toughness that will benefit them during the spring.”

Three TexAnns will begin the spring season ranked in the top ten in the Central Region. Chrissie Cooper is ranked No. 7 in singles while the doubles duo of Shannon Jordan and Melanie Ziles are No. 4.

The TexAnns will look to qualify for the NCAA Division II National tournament for the sixth-straight season.

“We look forward to the challenges which lie ahead, and we want to see how far we can go,” Drake said.