NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - VCU's Cindy Chala has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference Women's Tennis Most Outstanding Performer for the third straight year, while Ana Yrazusta of Massachusetts has been named Most Outstanding Rookie Performer, in a vote by the league's head coaches. In the same vote, UMass head coach Judy Dixon was named Coach of the Year.
Chala finished her 2015 campaign ranked 59th by the ITA with an 18-1 overall record in singles play and 13-4 in doubles action. This is the third consecutive Performer of the Year award and First Team All-Conference nod for Chala, becoming the first player in A-10 history to earn the distinction three times. The St. Cloud, France, native beat three ranked players this season, including #36 Stephanie Nauta from the University of Virginia. Chala has also been a part of three straight A-10 titles, as VCU swept each of their opponents 4-0 in conference tournament matchups. The senior compiled a 45-11 singles record in her three-year career at VCU.
Yrazusta helped UMass to one of its most successful seasons in program history, going 17-5 and finishing second in the 2015 Atlantic 10 Women's Tennis Championship. Hailing from Las Palmas, Spain, Yrazusta posted 24 wins at singles this year, tied for second most in UMass history, becoming the fourth Minutewoman to be named Most Outstanding Rookie of the Year. In doubles play, Yrazusta and partner Carol Benito racked up 27 victories, including wins against ranked opponents from Dartmouth and College of Charleston, setting a UM record for single season wins. The pair ended the fall season ranked No. 10 in the ITA's Northeast Region.
Dixon earns her fifth Coach of the Year nod, leading UMass to its most successful stretch in program history over the last five years with an average of 15.5 wins per season, two A-10 Runner-Up finishes and two A-10 semifinals finishes. Dixon has compiled a 290-212 overall record in 23 years as head coach at UMass. The 17 wins this season are the second most in program history.
Joining Chala on the 12-member first team are fellow Rams, Olga Barshcheuskaya and Salome Kvitashivili; Davidson's Anna-Catherine Feaster; Dayton's Marlys Bridgham; Duquesne's Kylie Isaacs; Fordham's Sarah Ali; George Washington's Teodora Radosavljevic; Ana Yrazusta of UMass; Richmond's Gaby Rosales; Saint Joseph's Aurora Davis; and Aspen Cervin of Saint Louis.
The all-conference second team consists of Davidson's Laina Cummer and Ava Todd, Dayton's Jackie Kawamoto; Fordham's Estelle Wong; Carol Benito, Arielle Griffin and Anna Woosley of UMass; Rhode Island's Taylor Holden; Richmond's Anna Abadias; St. Bonaventure's Fatya Amiri, Kelsey King of Saint Louis; and VCU's Darya Berezhnaya.
The six-member all-academic team, which is voted on by the league's sports information directors, includes Sarah Shashura and Megan Wasson of Duquesne; GW's Lana Robins; Richmond's Emily Gitman; Aspen Cervin of Saint Louis; and VCU's Salome Kvitashvili.