CSU's Pannu earns #1 ranking in the U.S.

CSU's Pannu earns #1 ranking in the U.S.

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus State University's men's tennis team earned the No. 3 spot in the preseason rankings.

As they strive for the top position, they've already got a No. 1 player on the roster.

You can't miss K.P. Pannu on the tennis court, just listen for the yells. Pannu often lets out loud shouts in celebration during his matches. His shouts are loud enough to hear on other courts and loud enough to boost his teammates.

"It kind of gives you that extra energy if you're not doing good in your own match," teammate Jorge Vargas said.

"I feel like if I can be loud and cheer on my team from my court, it's just going to overall have a good effect on the team," Pannu said.

He's got plenty to cheer about. Oracle-ITA ranked Pannu the number one division two singles player in the country this past November.

"It gives me a lot of confidence in my level," Pannu said.

Confidence, but not arrogance from the junior. Pannu says this ranking is just a number.

" Still got to be working hard and I've still got to put in the work, otherwise that number will disappear very quickly," Pannu said. "Nothing's really changed since that number went from 20 to 1. I'm still the same guy, still want to work hard every day so I'm not too worried about it."

Instead, he's worried about making the team better.

"He tells us, 'guys it's fine, just give your best' and it's a good thing to know you don't have that much pressure," Vargas said.

"They know that K.P.'s going to be in his match," head coach Evan Isaacs said. "They know he's going to fight for the guy down at the bottom and the guy down at the bottom is going to return it."

Even with the top singles spot, Pannu wants to improve the team's number three ranking and earn the top prize of a national championship.

"It's just a number so we've got to continue working hard and keep striving for better things," Pannu said.

Better things could certainly be on the way for Columbus State tennis. Pannu's not the only one earning national recognition.

Five different players on the men's and women's teams are ranked heading into the season.

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