FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BATES MEN'S TENNIS OPENS SEASON FRIDAY RANKED EIGHTH IN THE EAST
LEWISTON, Maine Ð Coming off a fall season filled with individual successes, the Bates College men's tennis team enters the spring 2000 season on Friday as the eighth-ranked team in the East according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
Bates is led by three players ranked among the top 20 in the East. Junior Robbie Ruttman of Uitenhage, South Africa, is the highest-ranked Bobcat, rated No. 6 in the East and No. 24 in the nation. Ruttman posted an 11-1 record in three tournaments in the fall, winning the Middlebury Invitational on Sept. 17-18, and the Bates Invitational Oct. 9-10. A transfer from Baylor University, Ruttman missed his sophomore season after suffering an injury in his first match last spring.
Also ranked in the East entering the season are junior No. 2 player Dmitri Kudrjavtsev of Tallinn, Estonia, and classmate Greg Norton of Mansfield, Mass., at No. 3. Kudrjavtsev, rated 18th in the East, was ranked 24th in the nation at the end of last spring season. He posted a 4-3 record last fall, including a loss to Ruttman in the finals of the Middlebury Tournament. He was eligible to become the first Bates men's tennis player to qualify for the NCAA Division III individual championships since 1995 but spent Short Term 1999 studying abroad. Norton is 19th in the East this season after a 6-1 fall campaign that saw him win the B-flight at the Middlebury tournament. In addition, Norton and Ruttman, playing together at No. 1 doubles, are No. 15 in the East after a 4-2 fall.
"This team has great potential," said Bates men's tennis coach Paul Gastonguay (Bates class of 1989). "When all of our players are at the top of their games, we will be very difficult to beat."
The Bobcats open the season March 31 with a match against Connecticut College, ranked 18th in the region, before playing the Bates Invitational team tournament, featuring No. 11 Bowdoin College, Brandeis University and the United State Coast Guard Academy. In all, six of Bates' 11 opponents are among the ITA's top 20 teams. The Bobcats will also compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championships that will feature eight teams among the top 20.
INTERCOLLEGIATE TENNIS ASSOCIATION RANKINGS - EAST REGION 1. Williams 11. Bowdoin 2. Trinity (Conn.) 12. Carnegie-Mellon 3. Swarthmore 13. Rochester Tech 4. Washington (Md.) 14. Wesleyan (Conn.) 5. Amherst 15. Vassar 6. MIT 16. Franklin & Marshall 7. College of New Jersey 17. Haverford 8. Bates 18. Connecticut College 9. Middlebury 19. Ithaca 10. Skidmore 20. Grove CityFor more information on Bates Men's Tennis, please visit our Web site at http://www.bates.edu/sports/mtennis.html