NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – For the second consecutive year, VCU’s Cindy Chala has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference Women’s Tennis Most Outstanding Performer, the league announced Monday, in a vote by the league’s head coaches. Also honored was Aspen Cervin of Saint Louis, who was named Most Outstanding Rookie Performer. In the same vote, VCU’s Paul Kostin has been named Coach of the Year.
Chala earns her second Most Outstanding Performer nod as a part of the back-to-back Atlantic 10 Championship squad, VCU. The St. Cloud, France, product finished the spring season 12-5 (22-7 overall) all at the top position for the Rams, ranking as high this year as No. 57 by the ITA. Chala racked up five wins over top-90 players, and five of her seven losses came to players in the top 100. Chala also played at two and three doubles for the Rams and was a part of 10 victories, including a win in the Atlantic 10 Championship match against Saint Louis.
Cervin finished her impressive freshman campaign on a 14-match singles winning streak, leading the Billikens with a 16-4 singles record this spring (22-6 overall). The 22 wins places the Houston, Tex., native in a tie for eighth on SLU’s single-season list. In doubles action, Cervin compiled a 12-8 dual record (18-9 overall), playing primarily at No. 2, including a pair of wins against Duquesne and GW in the Atlantic 10 Championship. Cervin helped lead Saint Louis to its second A-10 Championship match appearance in four years, and their 17 team victories is third best in program history.
Joining Chala on the 12-member All-Conference first team are fellow Rams Yukako Noi and Daria Yakauleva; George Washington’s Leah Pascarella and Lana Robins; Sonia Bokhari and Aarzoo Malik of Massachusetts; Fordham’s Sarah Ali; Rhode Island’s Galina Chernykh; Richmond’s Anna Abadias Morales; Saint Joseph’s Aurora Davis; and Aspen Cervin of Saint Louis.
The All-Conference second team consists of Duquesne’s Judy Li and Alexa Miller; St. Bonaventure’s Fayta Amiri and Marisa Brossard; Stephanie Hollis and Natalia Yacaman of Saint Louis; VCU’s Olga Barscheuskaya and Salome Kvitashvili; Fordham’s Ellie Ball; George Washington’s Taylor Nederlander; Yuliana Motyl of Massachusetts; and Richmond’s Brittany Boys.
The six-member all-academic team includes Duquesne’s Alexa Miller, George Washington’s Christina Carpenter and Lana Robins; Richmond’s Elizabeth Sims, Stephanie Hollis of Saint Louis and VCU’s Yukako Noi.
Kostin has led the Rams to consecutive A-10 women’s tennis titles and three in the past four seasons as the Rams will make their ninth straight NCAA appearance later this month. In his 13th season as the women’s coach at VCU, Kostin has amassed more than 250 wins, and is one of just four Division I tennis coaches all-time to reach the 1,000 win mark. This season Kostin moved into third all-time on the wins list with 1,027. Kostin has coached 54 women’s All-Conference selections at VCU, including six this year, and seven All-Americans.