Mitchell earns program's first ever men's tennis ITA ranking
Thursday, April 6, 2017
By Todd Lamberth
Mitchell earns program's first ever men's tennis ITA ranking

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Conference accolades have been no stranger for Lipscomb senior tennis player Rob Mitchell during his collegiate career, but now he is being recognized on a national level.

For the first time in program history, Lipscomb finds one of its own players ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s top-125.

Mitchell came in at No. 118 in the ITA’s bi--weekly rankings that were released on Tuesday.

“It's a great accomplishment and is a credit to his consistency and commitment to the team all the way to the end,” Lipscomb head coach Mario Hernandez said.

After missing five straight matches with an injury earlier in the year, Mitchell has returned to win five straight matches, including going 4-0 from the top seed in conference play.

In his last two outings, Mitchell defeated Stetson’s Loic Blanco, the Atlantic Sun Conference’s leader in singles victories, with a 7-5, 6-2 score.

He followed that victory by defeating No. 57 Jack Findel-Hawkins of North Florida by a convincing 7-5, 6-1 score. Mitchell’s efforts last week earned him his third A-Sun Conference Player of the Week award.

Hernandez pointed to Mitchell’s commitment to his game when talking about his most recent recognition.

“A lot of seniors tend to lose interest because they see the end coming and their new career on the horizon,” Hernandez said. “Rob has used his senior year as a motivator for him to push himself as hard as possible and to really embrace each practice and match this year.”

Mitchell will look to continue his win streak as the Bisons travel to Florida for matches with Florida Atlantic and Florida Gulf Coast this weekend. The senior will hope his play will translate to the rest of the team as they look to get back on track.

“He'll be the first to tell you though that the team's success is more important than individual rankings,” Hernandez said. “I know there's nothing that would be more fulfilling to him than to finish his senior year on a conference championship team. That has been the goal and will always be the goal.”