OMAHA, Neb. (Jan. 4)
- Creighton men's tennis senior Billy Paluch is ranked at No. 91 in the
first men's national singles rankings of 2013 released by the Intercollegiate
Tennis Association (ITA) Monday.
Paluch is the first Bluejay to be ranked nationally prior to
the start of a spring season. The Rapid City, S.D., native is the first CU
tennis player to earn a national ranking during Creighton men's tennis head
coach Tom Lilly's 16-year tenure and is believed to be the first Bluejay to
accomplish the feat since the early 1990's.
During the 2012-13 fall season, Paluch won theFlight
A singles title of the Omaha Collegiate Invitational hosted by Creighton in
September.He also partnered with freshman Brandon Lee to claim theFlight
A doubles title at the event. At the ITA Central Regional Championships held in
Minneapolis last October, Paluch advanced to the second round in singles as
well as doubles with partner and fellow senior Ryan Norman.
"While this ranking won't help Billy or our team win
any matches this spring, it is something that is very well deserved," said
Lilly. "Billy has worked as hard as anyone that we have had in our program
over the years, so it is nice for him to get some recognition heading into the
"This does not come as a surprise to me, the Missouri Valley
Conference or anyone that has watched Billy play the last few years. He
has a great work ethic and is very strong mentally in matches to aid his natural
Paluch was one of five Valley singles players ranked among
the ITA top 125 as Drake accounted for the other four. DU and Illinois State
each had a doubles team ranked among the ITA top 60. Two Creighton opponents
enter the 2013 season ranked in the ITA top 75 with Drake at No. 45 and
in-state rival Nebraska at No. 74.
The Jays travel to Des Moines in two weeks for the MVC
Individual Championships prior to kicking off the spring season with a home match
against Western Illinois on Feb. 2.