April 24, 2014
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Junior Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels) was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Year, and head coach Ronni Bernstein earned her fifth straight conference Coach of the Year award as five members of the University of Michigan women's tennis team were recognized with All-Big Ten honors on Thursday night (April 24). Bektas, senior Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan), junior Sarah Lee (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall) and sophomore Ronit Yurovsky (New Kensington, Pa./Plum) each earned all-conference first team recognition.
Bektas was named the Athlete of the Year for the first time in her career after going 10-1 at the No. 1 singles position during conference play and helping Michigan to its fifth straight Big Ten championship. She was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Week four times this season and carries a 20-2 dual-match record at the top spot. She is 34-6 overall in singles play, just one win away from tying Bolender's program record of 35 singles wins. Bektas is ranked No. 10 in the country in singles and pairs with Bolender to form the country's No. 17-ranked doubles pair. It is the sixth time a Wolverine has earned Athlete of the Year honors and the first time since 2011.
Bolender was named All-Big Ten for the fourth time in her career, becoming the third Wolverine to garner four conference honors. The senior captain was 9-2 in Big Ten action, seeing time at No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4. On the season, she carries a 15-3 dual-match record and a 25-6 overall record. She is Michigan's all-time winningest doubles player with 118 wins and second all-time in singles wins with 110. Bolender is the only player in U-M history to eclipse 100 career wins in both singles and doubles action.
Lee earned her third All-Big Ten honor after earning a pair of second-team accolades the last two seasons. Lee went 10-1 during conference action and heads to the tournament on a nine-match winning streak. She clinched Michigan's win over Northwestern earlier this season with a three-set win at No. 4 and is currently ranked No. 124 by the ITA. She is 29-9 overall in singles on the year and 17-5 in dual matches at the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 spots. She was also Michigan's sportsmanship honoree.
Yurovsky rounded out Michigan's honorees after sporting an 8-1 singles record at No. 2 in conference action. Last year's Big Ten Freshman of the Year was a first-team honoree for the second straight season with a 23-4 overall singles record. In dual matches, Yurovsky lost just twice at the No. 2 spot to finish the regular season with a 13-2 record. She is currently ranked No. 22 by the ITA.
Bernstein was named Coach of the Year for the fifth straight season after guiding Michigan to its fifth straight Big Ten title. The Wolverines put together their first 11-0 season in program history and their third undefeated conference season under Bernstein. U-M outscored its conference opponents, 69-8, this season and shut them out seven teams. Bernstein's streak of five straight honors is a conference record, and she is now tied for first with five total awards.
Michigan is the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament and will face Iowa on Friday morning (April 25) at 10 a.m. CDT. The tournament is being hosted by Northwestern.
WOMEN'S TENNIS ALL-BIG TEN TEAMS
All-Big Ten First Team
Ruth Seaborne, Iowa
Emina Bektas, Michigan
Brooke Bolender, Michigan
Sarah Lee, Michigan
Ronit Yurovsky, Michigan
Marina Bohrer, Michigan State
Alicia Barnett, Northwestern
Veronica Corning, Northwestern
Belinda Niu, Northwestern
Miho Kowase, Ohio State
Gabriella De Santis, Ohio State
Lauren Chypyha, Wisconsin
All-Big Ten Second Team
Allison Falkin, Illinois
Sophie Garre, Indiana
Katie Klyczek, Indiana
Tereza Brichacova, Minnesota
Sandy Niehaus, Ohio State
Dasha Sapogova, Penn State
Athlete of the Year: Emina Bektas, Michigan
Freshman of the Year: Gabriella De Santis, Ohio State
Coach of the Year: Ronni Bernstein, Michigan
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
Louise Kwong, Illinois
Kayla Fujimoto, Indiana
Aimee Tarun, Iowa
Sarah Lee, Michigan
Athena Trouillot, Michigan State
Natallia Pintusava, Minnesota
Maike Zeppernick, Nebraska
Nida Hamilton, Northwestern
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (email@example.com)