Bucs, Bakhodirova earn ITA Regional Rankings
Bucs, Bakhodirova earn ITA Regional Rankings
Friday, June 9, 2023

ETSU women’s tennis ranked No. 9 regionally, Reigning SoCon Player of the Year ranked No. 11 

TEMPE, Ariz. (June 9, 2023) – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced its NCAA Division I regional rankings for women’s tennis on Friday, as the 2023 Southern Conference champion ETSU Buccaneers were ranked ninth in the final Ohio Valley Region ranking of the season.

Additionally, senior Laylo Bakhodirova (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) was tabbed the No. 11 singles player in the Ohio Valley Region. Earlier this week, Bakhodirova was named the Ohio Valley Region’s Most Improved Senior following a 2023 SoCon Player of the Year-worthy season as a fifth-year senior.

As a team, ETSU finished with a 19-8 record and won its first conference championship since 2016, sweeping traditional power Furman in the championship final and advancing to the Columbus Regional of the NCAA Championship to face Vanderbilt in the first round. Vanderbilt finished second in the regional rankings.

Following a 2-3 start with three losses to highly-ranked teams in their respective regions — Kentucky, Ole Miss and Virginia Tech — ETSU went on to win 17 of the last 22 matches. The Bucs defeated one nationally ranked team in No. 72 Yale, as well as four regionally-ranked teams in Yale, Hawaii, Samford and Furman.

As a player, Bakhodirova completed an accomplished career with a stellar fifth season. She finished 18-3 from the top flight and 16-7 in top flight doubles alongside Mariya Shumeika (Minsk, Belarus). In additional to SoCon Player of the Year and her ITA regional award, Bakhodirova earned first team all-conference honors, the SoCon Pinnacle Award, multiple SoCon Player of the Week and Month awards, two SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week honors, College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District honors and ETSU’s Female Athlete of the Year award voted by ETSU’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

Notable wins for the senior include a season-opening win in straight sets over Ana Vilcek of Hawaii, who ranks No. 17 in the ITA Southwest Region singles rankings. Bakhodirova went on to earn wins over Virginia Tech’s Dariya Radulova, Belmont’s Mariia Hlahola, VCU’s Victoria Smirnova — all of whom are also ranked in their respective regions. All three of her singles losses came to regionally ranked foes, as well as one unfinished match.

For a full listing of ITA Regional rankings, please visit wearecollegetennis.com

For the latest information on Buccaneer women’s tennis, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s tennis page.