NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- VCU sophomore Janina Braun and Massachusetts freshman Janja Kovacevic have been named the Atlantic 10 Conference Women's Tennis Most Outstanding Performer and Rookie Performer, respectively, which was announced Thursday following a vote by the league's 14 head coaches. In the same vote, Massachusetts' Judy Dixon was named Coach of the Year.
Braun finishes her sophomore campaign with a 25-7 overall record; she recorded a 14-4 record at the top singles spot and a 5-0 record at No. 2. She went undefeated in conference play in both singles and doubles. In doubles, with partner Anna Rasmussen, they recorded and overall 20-10 record at the No. 1 position. This season she had wins against five ranked opponents from Old Dominion, Maryland, Marshall, Miami and Virginia. She helped clinch the team wins against MTSU, ODU and Penn State. She won also won three doubles matches with Rasmussen against ranked opponents. The Berlin, Germany native was an all-conference performer during the 2016 season, this year adding to her stellar career and taking home First-Team All-Conference and All-Academic honors along with her Performer of the Year accolades.
Kovacevic helped Massachusetts to its first A-10 Championship title since 2001 by stepping up to the challenge of the No. 1 spot as a freshman. The Zemun, Serbia native went 7-8 in dual matches and 2-2 versus conference opponents this season. She had three unfinished singles matches in the championship including a three-set match in the title game. The rookie also added a strong doubles campaign at the No. 2 spot going 14-4 in dual matches and 17-8 overall. She also was a selection to the First Team All-Conference team.
After 25 years at the helm of the Minutewomen Dixon will retire going out on top as an A-10 Champion. She heads into NCAA play sporting a 12-7 overall record going undefeated against A-10 opponents. She is the all-time winningest head coach in the history of the UMass women's tennis program with 300-plus wins. Dixon's players have earned tremendous success during her tenure sporting two A-10 Performers of the Year, five A-10 Rookies of the Year, 15 A-10 Academic All-Conference, and 44 A-10 All-Conference selections.
Joining Braun and Kovacevic on the All-Conference First Team is Davidson's Anna Catharine Feaster; Duquesne's Julianne Hermam and Kylie Isaacs; Fordham's Carina Ma; George Washington's Maria Siopacha; Massachusetts Ruth Crawford and Ana Yrazusta; Saint Louis' Aspen Cervin and Eleonore Tchakarova; and VCU's Anna Rasmussen.
The All-Conference Second team consists of Davidson's Alexa Abele and Megan Scholvinck; Dayton's Marlys Bridgham; Fordham's Maia Balce; George Washington's Melis Bayraktaroglu; Massachusetts Anna Woosley; Rhode Island's Mihaela Codreanu; Richmond's Kiana Marshall, Lea Owens and Dessi Zlateva; Saint Louis' Verginie Tchakarova; and VCU's Darya Berezhnaya.
The All-Academic team which is voted on by the league's sports information directions, included Duquesne's Kylie Issacs; George Washington's Marie-Louise Decamps; Saint Louis' Aspen Cervin, Eleonore Tchakarova and Verginie Tchakarova; and VCU's Braun.