Shankle Tabbed ITA Most Improved Senior - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Shankle Tabbed ITA Most Improved Senior

WACO, TX (KXXV) -

Baylor women’s tennis senior Blair Shankle received the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Women’s Division I Texas Region award for Most Improved Player (Senior) on Tuesday. With the honor, she remains in consideration for the ITA Most Improved Player (Senior) national award announced on Tuesday, May 23.

Shankle overcame injuries to elevate her game from her junior to senior year. After ending last year with a No. 75 Oracle/ITA Division I Women’s Collegiate Tennis ranking, she has won her way to the top, achieving a school record No. 3 singles rating.

Shankle began the year with a No. 54 preseason ranking in the fall and quickly built her resume, winning the ITA Texas Regional Championship with a 6-0 record including a dominant 6-0, 6-1 victory over a No. 9-ranked opponent for the title. She continued to find success at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Championship, where she toppled the No. 2-rated player in the country.

Following her successful 10-2 fall season, Shankle jumped into the top 10 with a No. 7 national ranking. The Dallas, Texas, native played her way to an 18-2 record in dual match play and a 7-1 mark in the Big 12 Conference at No. 1 singles. She recorded a career-high 11 victories against ranked opponents.

Shankle, a three-time All-big 12 singles and doubles selection and two-time doubles All-American, was selected to compete in the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship as the Big 12 Conference’s automatic qualifier. She enters the 64-player bracket as the No. 5 overall seed and is on a nine-match winning streak.

In her career, Shankle has competed in the NCAA Championship as an individual in doubles in 2014, singles and doubles in 2015 and doubles in 2016. In 2015, she fell in the opening round of singles action to her No. 11-ranked opponent.

NCAA Championship singles competition will begin at the conclusion of the team championship at Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., on May 24-29. 

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