Benjamin, Rasmussen, Yrazusta Claim Tennis Weekly Awards
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. –Jordan Benjamin of Dayton was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week while VCU’s Anna Rasmussen and Massachusetts’ Ana Yrazusta were named the Women’s Tennis Co-Player of the Week. Also honored was Richmond’s Joe Nardini, who was named the Men’s Rookie of the Week and VCU’s Paola Exposito Diaz Delgado who was named the Women’s Rookie of the Week. The awards were based off performances from Jan. 29 – Feb. 4.
Benjamin won all three matches he completed this weekend, including a pair of victories in No. 2 doubles with teammate Theo Jener and a win at No. 1 singles vs. Butler. Against Butler, Benjamin and Jener defeated Spencer Land and Michael Dickson in doubles play by a score of 6-2. He remained undefeated in singles play this spring with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Aviv Ben Shabat in the No. 1 spot in the lineup. Against Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Benjamin and Jener picked up a 6-1 doubles victory.
Rasmussen, a junior from Holte, Denmark, went undefeated in both singles and doubles across three matches for the Rams. She and her doubles partner, freshman Melissa Ifidzhen, won all three of their matches at the No. 1 position, dropping just seven games over three sets. In singles play, Rasmussen beat two power-five foes in straight sets. She topped Pittsburgh’s Luisa Varon 6-2, 7-6, and West Virginia’s Christina Jordan 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Yrazusta, a senior from Las Palmas, Spain, went undefeated in four matches split between competition at Brown and against St. John’s for a perfect weekend. She started the weekend with a 7-6 tiebreaker win at No. 1 doubles against Brown’s top doubles pair. Yrazusta defeated her third Brown player of the day during singles action as she stepped on the No. 2 court and downed Alysa Benotto 6-4, 6-3. She continued her perfect weekend with another set of wins at No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles against St. John’s. In a No. 1 doubles match, Yrazusta and Laura Moreno topped St. John’s top pairing 7-5. She capped the day off by defeating Zofia Stanisz 6-3, 6-1.
Nardini played in his first two career dual matches as a Spider this past week, going 2-0 in singles action and clinching a big non-conference win on Saturday. He was the lone Spider to win in singles play in Richmond’s midweek matchup at William & Mary. The Arlington, Va., native battled it out in each set, ultimately logging a 7-6, 7-6 win over the Tribe’s Michael Ruamthong for the first win of his career. On Saturday, Nardini stepped up in a bigger role in a 4-3 win over Bryant. The rookie pulled off a 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 win over Trent Massam to clinch the match for the Spiders and move to 2-0 in dual match play.
Diaz Delgado, a freshman from Almeria, Spain, won two consecutive matches against power-five competition over the weekend, both in straight sets. On Saturday, she defeated Pittsburgh’s Camila Moreno 7-6, 6-2, and on Sunday, she topped West Virginia’s Anne-Sophie Courteau 6-2, 6-0. Diaz Delgado’s play was crucial for the Rams, as they won both matches by a score of 4-2.