After cracking the ITA Top 100 on April 12 coming in at No. 94, Sam Matheson remains unscathed at No. 94 in the latest ITA National Poll.
Matheson finished the regular season with a 18-1 overall record this spring. In addition, Matheson notched 28 singles victories overall this season, surpassing Shea Thomas' previous program record of 27 set in 2013.
Matheson is one of only 21 non-Power Five conference players represented in this week's ITA rankings. Matheson is also one of only 14 non-Power Five conference players inside the Top 100. The New Zealand native is the lone Big South representative.
Matheson's ranking comes as no surprise with the No. 1 singles player rattling off 18 victories in 19 decisions this season. The Liberty junior was named the Big South Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Year as well as a member of the 2016 Big South Men's Tennis Singles First Team All-Conference squad. Matheson's spring success is directly correlated to what the junior accomplished during the fall season.
Matheson exceled on a historic run in the ITA All-American tournament in early October, finishing the event with a 6-1 record before being knocked out in the final match before the main draw.
Matheson was the first Flame to advance to the event's qualifier, defeating multiple Power Five conference opponents including Arkansas' Mike Redlicki, who is currently ranked No. 26 in the ITA rankings. Matheson defeated Redlicki in three sets, 6-4, 0-6, 6-3. The Liberty junior also handled Hugo Dojas of Texas Tech in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. Dojas is currently ranked No. 100 but has reached as high as No. 94 this season.
Matheson finished the season as the highest-ranked Big South competitor. Should the New Zealand native finish inside the Top 125, he will have the opportunity to compete in the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship as an individual on May 19 in Tulsa, Okla. Matheson will have to await the final decision on the selection show, which will take place May 4.
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