With the 2023 Fall college tennis season now behind us, let’s take a look at some of the standouts from these past few months who took home National Championships and who beat many of the nation’s top players to rise up the rankings.
Below are the top five ranked singles players in the Nov. 15 ITA Tennis-Point Collegiate Tennis Rankings, and you can find out more about each of their fall seasons by scrolling down the page.
1.) Mary Stoiana | Junior | Texas A&M | 5.74 WTN
As the reigning SEC Player of the Year and two-time ITA All-American (2023 Singles & 2023 Doubles), Mary Stoiana showed no signs of slowing down entering her Junior season with Texas A&M, having a historic Fall which led to her being the program’s first No. 1 ranked singles player in the ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings.
After finishing the 2023 spring season as the No. 2 ranked player in the country, Stoiana spent the summer playing on the professional circuit, including playing in the qualifying rounds of the US Open.
Coming back to College Station in the fall, Stoiana ranked No. 2 in the preseason rankings and had her sights set on achieving even more in 2023-24 both as an individual and as a team with the Aggies.
Beginning at the Fall Ranked Spotlight, Stoiana won four matches and advanced to the Semifinals of the A1 Draw, beating Mahak Jain (Georgia Tech), Sydni Ratliff (Ohio State), and Carson Tanguilig (UNC) along the way.
Using this momentum, Stoiana entered the 2023 ITA All-American Championships as the No. 2 seed and would never look back as she would win five straight matches to take home the title. In these matches, Stoiana took down Ange Oby Kajuru (Oklahoma State), Alexa Noel (Miami), and Sarah Hamner (South Carolina) to name a few.
Across the entire fall season, Stoiana went 9-1 in all matches and went 8-1 against ranked opponents, including wins in her final six matches. The All-American Championship marked the first time in program history that a Texas A&M player had won that prestigious tournament.
2.) Ange Oby Kajuru | Junior | Oklahoma State | 6.96 WTN
After coming over from Iowa State this past summer, Ange Oby Kajuru made her impact felt straight away for Oklahoma State as the junior excelled at numerous events this fall to achieve a program-high ranking of No. 2 to end the fall.
Beginning at the ITA All-American Championships, Kajuru would make it through qualifying play beating Kaila Barksdale (Utah), Anika Yarlagaddda (North Carolina), and Anna Campana (Pepperdine) to make the main draw.
In the main draw, Kajuru would have an opening-round win over the consolation draw finalist, Carolyn Ansari, before falling to the eventual champion, Mary Stoiana in the Round of Sixteen.
Moving on to the Central Region Championships, Kajuru continued her excellent run of form advancing to the finals where she would take down teammate Anastasiya Komar to claim the championship and the automatic berth into the ITA National Fall Championships.
At the ITA National Fall Championships, Kajuru continued to take down the nation’s best as she advanced to the Semifinals before falling to another eventual champion in Reese Brantmeier (North Carolina).
Across the entire fall, Kajuru went an impressive 16-3 in all competitions and went from being ranked No. 40 in the ITA Preseason Singles Rankings to No. 2 by the end of the fall.
3.) Amelia Rajecki | Senior | NC State | 7.31 WTN
For NC State senior Amelia Rajecki, this fall has been a continuation of the success she displayed this past spring helping the Wolfpack reach their program’s first NCAA National Championships while she would record the most singles wins (40) by a player in a single season in program history.
As one of the highest WTA-ranked players in college tennis (414), Rajecki spent most of the summer playing in various tour events where she would pick up numerous wins to help raise her professional rank by over 400 spots in just a few months.
When she rejoined the Wolfpack in the fall, Rajecki was poised to lead her team and serve as No. 1 singles player after Diana Shnaider elected to turn professional this past summer after one year with NC State.
At the Fall Ranked Spotlight, Rajecki made a statement right away as she would win the top flight of the tournament while taking down the likes of Mary Stoiana (Texas A&M), Carolyn Ansari (Auburn), and Irina Cantos Siemers (Ohio State) along the way.
Earning a spot into the ITA All-American Championships, Rajecki would take down Savannah Broadus (Pepperdine) in the opening round before falling to Sarah Hamner (South Carolina) in the second round.
Across all competitions, Rajecki finished with an 8-2 record in the fall and her No. 3 singles ranking is a program high for NC State.
4.) Sarah Hamner | Junior | South Carolina | 7.67 WTN
As one of the nation’s top-ranked players since winning the 2021 ITA All-American Champions just months after joining South Carolina, Sarah Hamner has continued to impress throughout her collegiate career and looks poised for another strong year after excelling at many tournaments this fall.
After falling in her first match of the fall at the Fall Ranked Spotlight, Hamner would quickly regroup and go on to win the consolation draw, beating the likes of Carol Lee (Georgia Tech), Anika Yarligadda (North Carolina), and Alana Wolfberg (Tennessee) along the way.
At the ITA All-American Championships, Hamner had to come through qualifying play to reach the main draw and made the most of her opportunity once she qualified.
In the main draw, Hamner would beat Maria Aguiar (Boston College), Amelia Rajecki (NC State), and Jessica Alsola (Cal) before falling to eventual champion, Mary Stoiana, in the Semifinals.
Moving on to the ITA National Fall Championships, Hamner would have another strong showing as she would reach the Quarterfinals after beating Bridget Stammel (Vanderbilt) and Savannah Broadus (Pepperdine) in the opening two rounds.
5.) Reese Brantmeier | Sophomore | North Carolina | 5.35 WTN
After coming into college as one of the nation’s top recruits and living up to the expectations during her freshman season in the spring of 2023, Reese Brantmeier has seemingly taken her game to an even higher level this fall beating many of the nation’s top players across numerous national tournaments.
Finishing as an ITA All-American in the spring of 2023, Brantmeier would play in several professional tournaments this summer including winning her first singles title at an ITF 15K in Lakewood.
Using this momentum to roll into the fall with North Carolina, Brantmeier would pick up some notable wins early such as victories over Selin Ovunc (Auburn), Charlotte Chavatipon (Texas), and Rachel Gailis (Florida).
At the ITA All-American Championships, Brantmeier would be met with a few challenges as she fell to Angelica Blake (Stanford) in the opening round of the main draw and Savannah Broadus (Pepperdine) in the second round of the consolation draw.
Not letting this define her fall, Brantmeier would bounce right back at the ITA Carolina Regional Championships where she would go on to win the Championship and claim the direct entry into the ITA National Fall Championships.
At the National Fall Championships, Brantmeier would win five straight matches to take home the title, including wins over Ange Oby Kajuru (Oklahoma State) and Sarah Hamner (South Carolina) who join Brantmeier in the top five of the final fall rankings.
The National Fall Championship title marked the second straight year in which a Tar Heel has won this tournament, while it made it four of the past five events in which a North Carolina player has come out on top.