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Texas A&M Womenís Tennis Captures ITA Regional Awards

May 13, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Representatives of the Texas A&M women’s tennis team collected four of the eight ITA Texas Region awards announced today by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The Aggies swept the ITA Texas Region coaches honors with Howard Joffe receiving head coach of the year laurels and Mark Weaver earning the region’s assistant coach of the year accolades. Also honored were Cristina Stancu and Saska Gavrilovska, who were named ITA Texas Region senior player of the year and rookie player of the year, respectively.

All four will now be considered for national honors, to be announced at the ITA Division I national awards luncheon Tuesday, May 20, in Athens, Ga., where the Division I NCAA Championships are being competed.

Joffe and Weaver have teamed to lead the Aggies to unprecedented success since Joffe was named head coach in the summer of 2011. Last year, the coaching tandem directed the Aggies to their first-ever runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship and a school-record No. 3 final ranking. The Aggies also tied for the SEC championship with a 12-1 record and finished the dual season 26-4, a school record for most wins.

Joffe and Weaver, who last summer was promoted to associate head coach following his sixth overall season on the Aggies’ coaching staff, have guided A&M to a top 11 national ranking every week in 2014. A&M is the No. 10 seed in the ongoing NCAA Championship and has advanced to the round of 16 for the second consecutive season and for only the third time in program history. The Aggies, 21-6 overall, have three victories against top 10 opponents this spring and are 14-6 against all ranked opponents, including two wins each against regional foes and top-25 teams Baylor and Texas.

Joffe has had a player earn All-America status in each of his three years as the Aggies’ skipper. Stancu recently became the sixth player in Aggie women’s tennis history to garner ITA All-America honors after receiving a top 16 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship 64-player field. Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar became the first-ever Joffe-coached All-American in 2012 and went on to become A&M’s first two-time All-American following her 2013 campaign.

With a No. 10 national singles ranking, Stancu (pronounced STAN-coo) is the highest ranked player in the Texas Region in 2014. An All-SEC first-team selection and a member of the SEC All-Tournament Team this season, the Romania native is 33-7 in singles, tying for sixth in the A&M all-time single-season records for most wins. Stancu, who posted an 8-0 record in SEC matches  -- all at the No. 1 line -- is riding a career-best 15-match win streak entering the Aggies’ NCAA Round of 16 match against No. 7 North Carolina on Thursday.

Stancu, who received her bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and journalism last weekend during Texas A&M’s spring commencement ceremonies, also tops the Texas Region with a No. 12 national doubles ranking, and she and partner Stefania Hristov have been selected to compete in the NCAA Doubles Championship for the second consecutive year. The pair is 24-9 overall and went 7-1 in SEC play at the No. 1 line.

Gavrilovska (pronounced saush-kah gav-ril-ov-ska) is the top-rated freshman in the Texas Region with a No. 56 national singles ranking. An All-SEC second team and SEC All-Freshman team honoree, Gavrilovska recently became only the second freshman in Texas A&M women’s tennis history to be selected to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship, joining four-time NCAA singles participant Nazari Urbina, who completed her stellar Aggie career last year.

From Serbia, Gavrilovska is a four-time SEC Freshman of the Week selection and also was named SEC Player of the Week after defeating fifth ranked Haley Carter, 0-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10) in the last match standing to clinch A&M’s 4-3 victory at then-No. 3 North Carolina on Feb 4. It marks the highest ranked win by an A&M freshman as well as A&M’s highest ranked team victory in school history.

Gavrilovska, the first A&M player to ever receive ITA rookie of the year honors, has tallied the second most singles wins on the team with a 20-7 overall record, and she enters the NCAA Round of 16 riding a personal-best seven-match win streak.

Texas A&M faces a rematch against North Carolina on Thursday as the two teams square off in the NCAA round of 16. First serve is at 8 a.m. (CT) at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. A link to the live scoring will be available at AggieAthletics.com.

Visit AggieAthletics.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieWomensTennis.

2014 ITA Texas Region Award Winners:

 

Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Howard Joffe, Texas A&M

Assistant Coach of the Year: Mark Weaver, Texas A&M

Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award: Elizabeth Begley, Texas

Player to Watch: Breaunna Addison, Texas

Senior Player of the Year: Cristina Stancu, Texas A&M

Rookie Player of the Year: Saska Gavrilovska, Texas A&M

Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship: Dominique Harmath, Rice

Most Improved Senior of the Year: Jordaan Sanford, Baylor

For the complete list of regional award winners, go to ITATennis.com.

All-Time Texas A&M ITA Region Honors:

Coach of the Year

2014    Howard Joffe

2002    Bobby Kleinecke

Assistant Coach of the Year

2014    Mark Weaver

2004    Alison Ojeda

2001    Callie Creighton

1997    Tim Drain

Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership & Sportsmanship

2011    Stephanie Davidson

2008    Tiffany Clifford

Player to Watch

2010    Nazari Urbina

2002    Jessica Roland

 

Senior Player of the Year

2014    Cristina Stancu

2013    Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar

2007    Anna Lubinsky

2004    Jessica Roland

2003    Ashley Hedberg

1996    Wilson Pate

1991    Tami Agassi

Rookie Player of the Year

2014    Saska Gavrilovska

Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship

2011    Stephanie Davidson (national winner)

1997    Nancy Dingwall

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