WALLA WALLA — The women’s tennis team continues to ascend the national rankings with the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll placing the Missionaries at the 16th spot.
That is the highest ranking for Whitman since it reached the No. 15 slot back in 1988 — 15 years ago — as a member of NAIA.
The Missionaries (11-4, 8-0 NWC) moved up 11 spots in the poll. During a spring break trip, Whitman knocked off No. 13 Trinity University and UT-Tyler Texas, along with playing very competitively against No. 12 Redlands (5-4) and No. 14 Santa Cruz in hard-fought defeats.
The latest poll also has the Whits ranked fifth in the West Region. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps sits at No. 1 in the west and No. 2 nationally. Amherst inhabits the top stop in the national poll.
Individually, Whitman sophomore Courtney Lawless is ranked No. 3 in the West — individual national rankings are not done until after the season — and teammate Alyssa Roberg is in the No. 10 spot. Roberg and Lawless also partner as the Missionaries’ No. 1 doubles team, and the new poll has them ranked 4th in the region.
Playing at the No. 1 singles spot, Lawless has accumulated an 11-2 record and is undefeated in conference matches.
Roberg, playing at No. 2, has yet to drop a match this season in singles at 10-0, and as a doubles team, the Roberg-Lawless tandem is 8-2.
The Missionaries currently sit atop the Northwest Conference standings as they get ready to resume conference play on Saturday when they host Pacific University at 10 a.m.