Bearcat Women's Tennis is Ranked #13 in ITA West Region Rankings

Poltavski Earns #12 Ranking in the West Region in Singles

By John Lind, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette women's tennis team is garnering some hype for the Bearcats' upcoming spring season. In the first NCAA Division III Women's West Region Rankings for 2012-13, released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the Bearcats were listed as the #13 team.

Denise Poltavski (So., Woodland Hills, CA/El Camino Real HS) earned additional accolades, scoring a #12 ranking in the West Region in singles.

Willamette is the fourth-highest Northwest Conference team in the poll. Whitman College is listed at #6, the best for the NWC. Linfield College is close behind at #8, and Whitworth University is at #10. Beneath Willamette are Pacific University at #15 and the University of Puget Sound at #17.

Traditional SCIAC powers Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Pomona-Pitzer sit atop the poll at #1 and #2, respectively. CMS also earned a #8 ranking in the NCAA Division III National Rankings, while Pomona-Pitzer was listed at #12 nationally.

In just her second year of Bearcat tennis, Poltavski is already attracting some recognition as one of the players to watch this year in the NWC. Earlier this fall, Poltavski made waves with a solid run during the USTA/ITA Northwest Small College Championships. Entering the tournament as the #7 seed, Poltavski won four consecutive matches in straight sets en route to a hard-fought loss in the semifinals.

Among NWC athletes, only Whitman's Courtney Lawless, who defeated Poltavski in that semifinal match, and Lewis & Clark College's Olivia Cornell are ranked above Poltavski in the West Region singles poll. Lawless is #3, while Cornell is one spot ahead of Poltavski at #11.

Three more NWC athletes are included in the Top 25 of the West Region in singles. Lewis & Clark's Aurora Gibson (#21), Whitman's Jenna Dobrin (#22), and Linfield's Caroline Brigham (#23) all made the cut. Mary Hardin Baylor's Brittni Fausett earned the top spot in the rankings.

The ITA rankings will be released five more times throughout the spring season, with a final poll on June 6th. All rankings can be found at

West Region Rankings
NCAA Division III
Women's Tennis
West Region Rankings
Released by the ITA
Fall, 2012
Willamette sophomore Denise Poltavski is the #12 singles player in the West Region Rankings released by the ITA.

Willamette sophomore Denise Poltavski is the #12 singles player in the West Region Rankings released by the ITA.