Four WVWC tennis players earn regional recognition

SURPRISE, Ariz. — The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released their singles and doubles rankings of the year recently, and four West Virginia Wesleyan College players were recognized within the top 20 regional list.

Maycon Santos Dias (4th), Carlos Dodero (6th), and Lukas Laipold (8th) each earned a spot in the top ten of the singles ranking, while Harry Simaioforidis (19th) also made the list.

No team ranking was done this cycle, but will be included in the next ranking period on Jan. 13. The Bobcats did not have a doubles team recognized this period.

Santos Dias earned the ranking on the heels of his semifinal showing at the ITA regional in September, falling to the eventual champion Artur Figuerre of Bluefield State. Figuerre has the top spot on this list, and also is currently rated No. 6 in the nation.

Santos Dias was named the Mountain East Freshman and Player of the year last season in his first turn as a Bobcat. He played on the Wesleyan Soccer team this past fall season and the ITA regional was his only tennis competition.

Dodero, a sophomore transfer from Eastern Kentucky University, made a splash this fall by winning three times in the top flights of tournaments. Thos titles included the West Liberty Invitational, the I-79 Challenger, and the Bobcat Fall Challenger. He also lost in the ITA to Figuerre, in the quarterfinals.

A two year starter at the top position, Laipold returns for his junior season with his highest regional ranking since 2016. He is a two-time, all MEC first team selection and he had a solid fall season with wins over top players from Bluefield State, Tiffin, and Edinboro.

Simaioforidis, a sophomore from Greece who was 2nd team all conference last year, had wins over three players appearing in the rankings. He also upset the No. 9 seed at the ITA to make the third round.

“Overall, it’s a nice to see Carlos and Harry get in the mix after a fall season where we were tinkering with our lineup,” said head coach Marc Walters, who starts his 7th year with the ‘Cats in January.

“Carlos filled in nicely where we lost a four-year staple (Ramon Rodriguez, who graduated in May), and Harry continues to battle and show he can hang with the tops guys,” said Walters.

Walters also noted that Santos Dias and Laipold have already established themselves as two of the prominent players in the Atlantic region.

“Those two are just winners, and Lukas is as coach-able a guy as you can find. He’s low maintenance, and has learned to moderate his energy on court through the season to be efficient and grind at a top spot all year,” said Walters.

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