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MTEN: Pirates end season with first-ever national ranking

Posted May 28

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The East Carolina University men's tennis team's season ended with the first-ever final national ranking in program history. The Pirates were tabbed No. 73 in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national team rankings.

"It's something we've been working towards and it's great for our guys," ECU Head Coach Shawn Heinchon said. "It's not so much finishing in the rankings that we as coaches feel makes us successful; it's having our guys live up to their ability. Watching these guys develop and improve through the course of the season was very gratifying.

"We had some great senior leadership this past year. Joran (Vliegen) not only rewrote our entire individual records book, but he also showed us what is possible for us to accomplish as a team."

The Pirates (18-7 overall, 2-0 C-USA) earned ECU's first-ever national tennis ranking back on April 15, coming in at No. 72.

The Pirates also finished the season with the second-most single-season victories in program history, including their first-ever win over a ranked opponent; defeating No. 44 Elon on April 12. They also advanced to the semifinals of the Conference USA Championship tournament for the first time.

ECU's 18 victories came while playing one of the toughest schedules in team history, facing four nationally ranked opponents on the road and one at a neutral site.

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