Jan. 25, 2013
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - In its first season in the Atlantic 10, the VCU Rams Women’s Tennis team has been selected to win the 2013 Atlantic 10 title, according to a vote conducted among the league’s 16 head coaches.
The Rams, winner of two of the last three former conference Championships (2010, 2012), made their 13th NCAA tournament appearance in the spring. VCU’s squad welcomes back four letterwinners, including Salome Kvitashvili, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Atlantic Region Rookie of the Year. Joining Kvitashvili, are juniors Olga Terteac and Daria Yakauleva, who both received All-Conference Singles honors in 2012. Terteac finished her regular season with a 17-8 overall record, 13-3 in dual play, and recorded a flawless 7-0 mark at the number three position, while Yakauleva went 20-7 overall and 10-4 in dual play. The pair went 8-4 together and 5-1 in dual play at the number two position, and earned Third Team All-Conference doubles honors. The Rams return lone senior Josefin Hjertquist, and welcome two newcomers, Karina Alesha and Olga Barscheuskava.
Richmond, who claimed its fourth straight A-10 title in 2012, returns seven letterwinners and two All-Conference nods, including Melissa Kandinata, last year’s A-10 Most Outstanding Rookie Performer, who posted an 19-8 overall record and a singles mark of 11-4 at the number two spot. Junior Elizabeth Sims, a second team All-Conference selection, posted a team high 15 wins as the number four singles. The Spiders look to make their 12th NCAA appearance this spring.
Massachusetts, the top seed and runner-up in last year’s championship, is predicted to place third at this year’s event under 2012 Coach of the Year, Judy Dixon. The Minutewomen will look to returning standouts junior Sonia Bokhari and senior Julia Comas. Bokhari, a first team all-conference selection, finished with a 19-12 overall record, including 15-7 record in dual play. Comas, primarily playing from the three and four spots, recorded 21 overall singles wins and a 15-8 dual match record.
Temple, who lost in the semifinals to Massachusetts (4-3) in the 2012 tournament, was picked to finish fourth, followed by Charlotte (fifth), Xavier (sixth) and George Washington (seventh). The Billikens were picked to place eighth, while Fordham (ninth), Duquesne (10th), Rhode Island (11th), Butler (12th), Saint Joseph’s (13th), Dayton (14th), St. Bonaventure (15th) and La Salle (16th).
The 2013 Atlantic 10 Women’s Tennis tournament will be held April 18-21 at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.