NORTH NEWTON, Kan. -- The NAIA Women's National Central Rankings came out this past Friday, and Bethel had three singles players and one doubles team among the nations best. The prestigious rankings include all NAIA school's from the states of: New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas and Iowa, and rank the top 20 singles players and top 10 doubles teams.
Sophomore Breanna Honer led the charge for the Thresher's topping the list at #5 in the central, and #42 nationally. The sophomore had another great fall season finishing 6-2 at #1 singles, including a semi final birth at the Central-West/Southwest ITA regional in Omaha Nebraska. Honer is the highest ranked lady Thresher since Paige McKinney in 2009, which finished the season ranked #21 nationally.
Joining Honer was Junior and a first time member to the top 20 Allie Hipp, who is currently ranked #8. Hipp had a breakout fall as she was asked to make the tough jump from playing #5 singles last year to #2 singles this fall. Hipp made the transition seem effortlessly however, going 4-3 at #2 singles with a quarterfinal appearance at the Central-West/Southwest ITA regional in Omaha Nebraska.
Senior Steph Shogren rounds out the list coming in at #11 for the Lady Thresher's. The Senior has been a model of consistency over her four years as a Thresher and this fall was no different, as Shogren went 5-2 at #3 singles, culminated by a quarterfinal run at the Central-West/Southwest ITA regional before falling to teammate Breanna Honer.
The Breanna Honer/Steph Shogren duo earned a #8 ranking after their semi final run at the Central-West/Southwest ITA regional this fall. The duo compiled a record of 4-2 at the #1 doubles spot for the Lady Thresher's. This was very impressive, for the simple fact that the two were playing together for the first time this fall.
The Thresher's will look to build off of their 14-4 record and 5th straight conference title/ National Tournament appearance from last season. However a tough out of conference schedule and some strong emerging teams inside the conference will surely challenge the Thresher's this spring. The women will also have revenge on their mind as they get underway on March 1st, as they will play host to a Nebraska Wesleyan squad who accounted for one of the team's four losses last season.
Submitted by Logan Palenske