May 3, 2012
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Richmond’s Joanna Matuszczyk has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference Women’s Tennis Most Outstanding Performer, while fellow Spider Melissa Kandinata was tabbed Most Outstanding Rookie Performer, in voting conducted among the league’s head coaches. In the same vote, Judy Dixon of Massachusetts was honored as Coach of the Year.
Matuszczyk becomes the third Spider to garner Most Outstanding Performer honors, joining alums Pamela Duran (2009, 2007) and Lindsay Cox (2005), while Kandinata is the third UR women’s tennis student-athlete to secure top Rookie honors (Pamela Duran, 2006; Beatrice Grasu, 2004).
The Spider duo helped pace Richmond to its fourth-straight A-10 title and conference-record ninth crown in the last 10 years, earning its 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Joining Matuszczyk and Kandinata on the 12-person All-Conference first team is teammate Helen Cunningham; Charlotte’s Alexandra Zinn; Vanessa Steiner of Duquesne; Fordham’s Amy Simidian; George Washington’s Jacqueline Corba; Sonia Bokhari of Massachusetts; Casey Robinson of Saint Joseph’s; Jenny Nalepa of Saint Louis; Temple’s Yana Mavrina’ and Xavier’s Katie Pleiman.
The All-Conference second team consists of Charlotte’s Andrea Rivera and Natsuko Takayanagi; George Washington’s Leah Pascarella; Yuliana Motyl and Julia Comas of Massachusetts; Rhode Island’s Pam Emery; Richmond’s Elizabeth Sims; Manuela Marin of St. Bonaventure; Stephanie Hollis of Saint Louis; Temple’s Jordan Batey and Alicia Doms; and Xavier’s Daniella Patton.
The six-person Academic All-Conference team includes Charlotte’s Alexandra Zinn’ Rhode Island’s Kirsten Leikem and Tristany Leikem; Richmond’s Elizabeth Sims; Mia Elmore of Saint Louis and Xavier’s Katie Pleiman.
Dixon, the winningest tennis coach in Massachusetts history, guided the Minutewomen to the top seed in the 2012 A-10 Women’s Tennis Championship with an impressive 14-7 record during the regular season. Dixon’s squad advanced to the finals of the event, before narrowly falling to three-time defending championship Richmond, 4-3. Under the direction of the 18-year veteran head coach, UMass went 7-2 against A-10 foes this season, including victories over Temple, Saint Joseph’s, Duquesne, Rhode Island and Charlotte.
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