DALLAS (SMU)-In just two years as the head coach of SMU women's tennis, Lauren Longbotham-Meisner has pulled her program from the depths of the ITA poll to a nationally-prestigious Top 25 ranking when the Mustangs were recently announced No. 24, the highest ranking achieved by SMU in exactly 20 years.
The last time the Mustangs produced such high-caliber productivity was in 1989, when SMU finished the season with a national ranking of No. 22. That season the Mustangs delivered a 13-13 overall record, and finished third in the Southwest Conference. Currently, SMU is undefeated in Conference USA play, having downed Memphis, Southern Miss, and Tulane. The Mustangs only sport two losses on the season thus far, with one coming to ranked opponent No. 23 LSU and the other coming to a talented Missouri squad.
Supplementing SMU's newest earned ranking is freshman Marta Lesniak, who also moved up in the latest ITA poll to No. 57. On her way to producing an undefeated 5-0 singles record, Lesniak collected wins over three nationally-ranked players, with her most esteemed victory earned against No. 17 Arkansas' then-ranked No. 4 Aurelija Miseviciute. Her most recent win over a ranked contender was against No. 111 Stephanie Hammel of the No. 38 UC-Irvine Anteaters, who the Mustangs blanked in competition.
In doubles, Lesniak and freshman partner Aleksandra Malyarchikova combined for five consecutive wins at the number one spot and placed themselves as the No. 43 best pair in the nation. Following up their exceptional act is the duo of Bubien and junior teammate Pavi Francis, coming in at No. 61.