MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Barry University men's and women's tennis teams share a common bond. Both are ranked No. 1 in the nation.
The Buccaneers women's team earned the top billing when the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national poll was released Wednesday. Barry's men's team became No. 1 Thursday when the ITA rankings went public. It is the first time in school history Barry men's and women's programs have been ranked No. 1 simultaneously.
"I think it's a very proud time for Barry University to have both its men and women at the top of the charts," Bucs men's coach George Samuel said. "It's a pat on the back for all the hard work they've done. I think they deserve that honor."
Barry's men (25-0) play No. 32 Northwood, Mich. (17-4) at 10 a.m. EST Wednesday in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Division II National Championships in Surprise, Ariz.
The Buccaneers women (26-0) meet No. 19 Midwestern State (17-6) at 4 p.m. EST Wednesday in the Round of 16 at Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex.
This marks the first time Barry's women's team has been ranked No. 1 prior to the NCAA Championships in school history.
"We're very excited to be ranked No. 1," Bucs women's coach Avi Kigel said. "It's another stepping stone for us. It shows that we've been doing the right things. It shows that we've been playing the right schedule.
"The girls had to go through a little bit of adversity with only seven players. They were able to find ways to win. This is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to be No. 1 at the end of nationals."
The Buccaneer men's team concurs.
"It's more incentive to try to hold on to that ranking throughout the national tournament," Samuel said. "We're looking forward to next week."