April 30, 2013
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - VCU's Cindy Chala has been named the Atlantic 10 Women's Tennis Most Outstanding Performer, while Xavier's Alex Brinker earned Most Outstanding Rookie Performer honors, in voting conducted by the league's 16 head coaches. In the same vote, Xavier's Eric Toth has been recognized as Coach of the Year.
Chala becomes the first VCU Ram in A-10 Women's Tennis history to earn the league award, after she posted a 14-4 record at No. 1 singles this spring. The sophomore from St. Cloud, France, beat four ranked opponents, including No. 37 Abigail Tere-Apisah of Georgia State and was a part of three consecutive 4-0 team wins en route to VCU's first A-10 Championship. Each of Chala's four losses this spring came to players in the top-60, ranked by Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
Brinker earns Xavier's second Most Outstanding Rookie nod in four years (Katie Pleiman, 2010) in a standout season where she finished the regular season riding a 20-match win streak at No. 2 singles for the Musketeers. The Granger, Ind., native picked up three singles wins for Xavier at the A-10 Championship, including a three-set showdown with Fordham's Sarah Ali in the quarterfinals, to clinch the deciding point, as Xavier would reach its first A-10 Finals since 2008.
Joining Chala on the 12-person All-Conference first team is fellow Ram, Yukako Noi; Charlotte's Alexandra Zinn; Fordham's Amy Simidian; George Washington's Leah Pascarella; Rhode Island's Galina Chernykh; Richmond's Melissa Kandinata; Saint Joseph's Casey Robinson; Saint Louis' Stephanie Hollis, Temple's Alicia Doms, and from Xavier, Alex Brinker and Katie Pleiman.
The All-Conference second team consists of Charlotte's Natsuko Takayanagi; Duquesne's Judy Li; George Washington's Lana Robins; Massachusetts' Yuliana Motyl and Jessica Podlofsky; Richmond's Anna Abadias; Saint Joseph's Aurora Davis; Temple's Yana Mavrina, VCU's Olga Barscheuskaya, Salome Kvitashvili and Olga Terteac, and Xavier's Daniella Patton.
The six-person All-Academic Team includes Charlotte's Lisa Grosselius; Rhode Island's Karolina Wojciak; Richmond's Elizabeth Sims; Saint Louis' Mia Elmore and Stephanie Hollis, and Xavier's Katie Pleiman.
In his sixth year as head coach for both the women's and men's tennis programs at Xavier, Toth led the Musketeers to a 20-6 overall record, including an 10-1 mark against conference opponents and a second-place finish in the Atlantic 10 Championship. As a twoseed in the Championship, XU defeated St. Bonaventure (4-0), Fordham (4-3) and Massachusetts (4-0) to advance to their first final since 2008, eventually falling to a nationally-ranked VCU team. This is the first Women's Tennis Coach of the Year honor for Toth, but he has previously received three consecutive awards for his efforts with the men's program (2008, 2009, 2010).