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SKILLMAN, N.J. - The Stetson men's tennis team was ranked 71st in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), as released on Wednesday afternoon.

"Obviously this is a significant accomplishment for our young team," Stetson Director of Tennis Pierre Pilote said on Wednesday.  "To break into the national rankings this early into the season is quite an achievement."

Stetson defeated #56 St. John's at home last Thursday by a score of 5-2 in its season opener. The Hatters used strong singles performances to pick up the victory over the nationally ranked Red Storm.

"The voters kept St. John's high in the ranking (66) despite some losses, likely because of the quality of their team and the level of their opponents.  This bodes well for us for future rankings."

This marks the first time that Hatters have been nationally ranked this season, but it is nothing new for Stetson. The Hatters were ranked last year when they managed to get as high as #59 in the country, and this marks the fifth time in six years that Stetson has been recognized by the ITA in their national rankings.

The Hatters were joined in the rankings by fellow Atlantic Sun Conference competitors North Florida (62) and ETSU (73).  "To have three A-Sun teams ranked nationally once again demonstrates the high level of men's tennis in our conference."

Stetson will continue the 2013 season on Saturday, hosting Flagler College. The match is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m.

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