ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – After winning six of its last seven matches, the Flagler College men’s tennis team was ranked No. 3 in the nation. That’s the highest ranking for the program since moving to NCAA Division II in 2009-10.
This season, the Saints have been at their best when playing top competition. They’re 8-5 vs. nationally ranked teams.
“It’s like we have a special occasion’s team,” said head coach Thomas Hipp. “When we play highly ranked players they get really up for those matches. They play loose. They’re really confident because they feel we have nothing to lose. Then they just go for it and I think that’s our mentality.”
Flagler’s team is made up of nine players, all of whom are from outside the U.S. (three Germans, two Italians, and one each from Bolivia, New Zealand, Brazil and Sweden).
“We want this national championship really bad,” said Felipe Carvalho. “We’re working really hard to get it. It’s not easy. There are a lot of good teams out there. But I think we can fight with them. We’re ranked No. 3 in the nation so that means something.”
Flagler will open the Peach Belt Conference Tournament on Friday when it faces No. 24 Georgia College.