RAMS JUMP INTO TOP-25 FOR FIRST TIME THIS YEAR

R ICHMOND, Va.  – The leaves changing in the autumn, taxes being filed in April and the bank of the James River lined with college students. These all are things that are guarantees to happen every year.

We might want to add a top-25 ranking for the Virginia Commonwealth University women's tennis team to that list.

For the fourth year out of the past five, the Black & Gold garnered that honor, being ranked 23rd in the latest ITA poll, released on Tuesday evening.

"I'm happy for the girls and Yana. They are doing exactly what they need to every time they step onto the court," Head Coach Paul Kostin said. "It's a credit to my assistant Yana [Carollo] for having them ready to play every match. If our girls continue to stay focused like this, it could be a special season for us."

It's the earliest top-25 ranking since 2007-08 when the Rams were ranked 22nd on Feb. 16. On the year, VCU is 11-1 with its only loss coming to Georgia, who is ranked 10th in the latest poll.

Currently, the Black & Gold have won six straight and are coming off a 5-2 defeat of South Florida, who was ranked 32nd in the country.

Leading the way for VCU has been senior Kateryna Yergina and junior Alex Bara who are a combined 17-1 in dual matches this spring. Yergina is 9-1 with three wins at each of the top three spots in the lineup, while Bara is 8-0 on the spring with most of her wins coming in the third and fourth spot.

The freshmen duo of Olga Terteac and Daria Yakavleva have been a huge boast for the Black & Gold, notching a 16-3 mark this spring.

VCU is back in action this weekend when they travel to State College, Pa. to take on Penn State on Friday and Princeton on Saturday.

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