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Rao ranked No. 15 in Northeast Region

Binghamton University men’s tennis player Akshay Rao (New Delhi, India) has earned a Division I regional ranking after a stellar fall season. In the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, Rao is ranked No. 15 in the Northeast. He becomes the first BU tennis player to achieve a regional ranking at the Division I level.

“This is significant for Akshay and our program,” head coach Michael Starke said. “It puts us on the tennis map, at least on the regional level. Akshay had a tremendous fall season, and this shows how good a player he is, and how much he has improved since last spring.”

Rao, who came to Binghamton last January and promptly earned America East all-conference honors after posting a 14-5 record, raised that standard even higher in the fall. He went 13-1, captured the Cornell Invitational singles title, and most notably, advanced to the round of 16 at the ITA East Regional. There, Rao topped Harvard’s highly-acclaimed Mark Riddell, who is positioned at No. 12 in the regional rankings. He then lost a close three-set match to No. 8 Josef Novotny of UMBC.

Rao and the Bearcats will open their spring season at Army on January 25. Some three months later, the team will battle for the America East Championship and subsequent NCAA tournament berth.

ITA Northeast Region Rankings

1. Oscar Chow, Columbia
2. Jonathan Chu, Harvard
3. Francis Huot, Virginia Tech
4. Saber Kadiri, Virginia Tech
5. Stephane Rod, Virginia Tech
T6. Andreas Laulund, Virginia Tech
T6. David Lingman, Harvard
8. Josef Novotny, UMBC
9. George Turner, Harvard
10. Ryan Murphy, Yale
11. Chris Drake, Brown
12. Mark Riddell, Harvard
13. Jamie Cerretani, Brown
14. Trevor Smith, Princeton
15. Akshay Rao, Binghamton
16. Adil Shamasdin, Brown
17. Nathaniel Emge, Penn State
18. Cliff Nguyen, Harvard
19. Brett McKeon, Cornell
20. Josh Burman, Princeton
21. Nick Goldberg, Brown
22. Scott Paltrowitz, Cornell
23. Mark Barry, Penn State
24. Reed Hagmann, Colgate
25. Pedja Zdravkovic, Hartford
26. Neal Bobba, Dartmouth
27. Darius Craton, Princeton
28. Arnie Albornoz, Army
29. Zack Pasanen, Brown
30. Chris Chiou, Harvard


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