ITA accolades pour in for UVA men’s and women’s tennis

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

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The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the Division I Men’s and Women’s student-athletes who earned All-American Honors in 2022 on Monday. Virginia sophomores Iñaki Montes and Chris Rodesch are among the 25 men’s tennis student-athletes to be named ITA All-Americans in singles this season. On the women’s side, sophomores Emma Navarro and Hibah Shaikh were named doubles All-Americans, while Navarro and junior Natasha Subhash earned the honor in singles.

The honorific All-American title is given to student-athletes that earn a top 16 seed in the NCAA singles championship, advance to the round of 16 at the NCAA Championship or finish in the top 20 of the final ITA singles rankings. The All-American status is awarded to doubles teams that earn a top-eight seed into the NCAA championship, reach the NCAA championship quarterfinals, or finish in the top 10 of the final ITA doubles rankings.

Montes (Pamplona, Spain) advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championship and finished the season ranked No. 12 in the ITA Singles Rankings. Montes posted a 22-5 record in singles that included a 6-0 record against players ranked in the top-25. He finished the year as the top-ranked singles player in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Rodesch (Angelsburg, Luxembourg) earned the ACC’s automatic berth in the NCAA Singles Championship as the top-ranked player in the conference at the end of the regular season. Rodesch rose another ten spots in the ITA Singles Rankings during the ACC and NCAA team and singles championships, finishing at No. 20 to earn All-America honors. In the fall, Rodesch advanced through qualifying to earn a place in the main draw of the ITA All-American Tournament and was the finalist in the consolation bracket.

Navarro (Charleston, S.C.) was the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship and is ranked No. 2 in the final ITA Singles Rankings. A finalist for the 2022 Honda Sport Award For Tennis, she posted a 26-2 record in singles and spent four weeks as the top-ranked player in the nation. She and Shaikh (Teaneck, N.J.) were the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Doubles Championship as the first duo in program history to earn a top-four seed in the tournament. Shaikh and Navarro combined for a 13-6 record as a doubles team.

This is Navarro’s second-straight year earning All-America honors in both doubles and singles. It is the fourth time in program history that a Virginia student-athlete has been both a singles and doubles All-American in the same season. This is Shaikh’s first All-America honor.

Subhash (Fairfax, Va.) went 29-12 in singles, advancing to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Singles Championship. She won the ITA Atlantic Regional Singles Championship in the fall and competed at both the ITA All-American and the ITA Fall National Championships. She repeated as UVA’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an award recognizing the department’s outstanding female student-athlete based on academic excellence and performance with distinction as a member of a varsity team. She is the third player in program history to be a three-time singles All-American. It is her fourth overall All-America honor as she was also a doubles All-American last season.

With this year’s designations, 21 different Cavalier men have combined to earn 54 singles and doubles All-America honors in the program’s history, while nine different Cavalier women have combined to earn 21 singles and doubles All-America honors in the program’s history.

The ITA also announced the recipients of the 2022 Division I Men’s and Women’s Regional Awards. Every year the ITA recognizes coaches and players for their excellence on the court and in their communities throughout the season.

Virginia men’s coach Andres Pedroso was named the Wilson ITA Coach of the Year for the Atlantic Region, while associate head coach Scott Brown was voted the region’s top assistant coach. Virginia women’s coach Sara O’Leary was named the Wilson ITA Coach of the Year for the Atlantic Region, while associate head coach Gina Suarez-Malaguti was voted the region’s top assistant coach. Freshman Elaine Chervinsky was named the ITA Atlantic Region Rookie of the Year and Sofia Munera the ITA Atlantic Region Most Improved Senior.

Brown and Pedroso guided Virginia to the program’s fifth NCAA Championship, closing out the season on a 23-match win streak. The Cavaliers boasted a 12-0 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season before winning the ACC Championship for the second-straight season and the 14th time in program history.

This is the second-straight year both have earned Atlantic Region honors, as voted by a regional awards committee.  Virginia head coaches have been named the top in the region nine times in program history with eight honors for assistant coaches. Pedroso was a two-time ITA Atlantic Region Assistant Coach of the Year (2012 and 2014) and was the 2014 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year in his previous stint at UVA.

O’Leary and Suarez-Malaguti led the team to a No. 4 national ranking this year, the team’s highest ranking since 2014, with the team advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals and the finals of the ACC Championship for the third time in program history.

This is O’Leary’s first time earning All-Region honors as a head coach. She was the Carolina Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010 and the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011 while serving on North Carolina’s staff. This is the fifth time A UVA head coach has earned the honor.

This is Suarez-Malaguti’s third time being named the ITA Atlantic Region’s Assistant Coach of the year, having also earned the accolade in 2019 and 2021. This is the seventh time a UVA assistant has earned the honor.

Chervinsky had a strong rookie campaign, going 18-15 in singles, playing on the top-three courts. She was 22-9 in doubles. She started the year as the runner-up in singles at the ITA Atlantic Regional, earning an invitation to compete at the ITA Fall National Championships, and finished by earning a spot in the NCAA Singles Championship. She was ranked as high as No. 53 in singles and No. 50 in doubles. She joins teammates Amber O’Dell (2019), Natasha Subhash (2020) and Emma Navarro (2021) on the list of former honorees.

Munera came into UVA playing at No. 5 singles and left as a fixture on the No. 3 and 4 courts. Her biggest win this year was the clinching match in UVA’s 4-3 victory against No. 3 Georgia in the opening round of ITA Indoors, topping No. 119 Morgan Coppoc 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 on court four. She has been a strong presence on and off the court, growing into a confident leader and was named the team’s Cindy Brinker-Simmons Most Improved Player Award, as announced at the team banquet in late April. She has a 13-12 record this year in singles, which includes a 7-4 record at No. 3. She has a 60-40 career record in singles and an 83-38 mark in doubles. She is the third UVA student-athlete to earn this regional honor, joining Emily Fraser (2012) and Meghan Kelley (2019).

The national award winners will be announced next Monday, June 13, selected from the pool of 12 regional winners for each honor.

 

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