Batta Leads UNLV's MW Award Winners
April 26, 2012
SAN DIEGO (UNLVRebels.com) - Super sophomore Lucia Batta became the fifth woman in program history to earn league MVP honors when she was named Mountain West Tennis Player of the Year during an awards banquet Thursday.
Batta was also one of three Lady Rebels named all-conference after a vote of the league's eight head coaches. The Mountain West Championships got underway earlier in the day and second-seeded UNLV ousted seventh-seed Colorado State 4-0 at the Aztec Tennis Center.
Currently ranked 60th nationally, Batta is the first Lady Rebel to win the league award since 2008 when Elena Gantcheva took home her league-record third consecutive honor (2006-08). Other former winners from UNLV were Katarina Malec (2000), Jolene Watanabe (Big West in 1990) and Hall of Famer Marianne Vallin, who also took the honor three times (Big West in 1994 and '96 and WAC in 1997).
A four-time MW Player of the Week this season, Batta is currently 31-8 overall and 21-2 in dual matches. This spring she lost only two sets en route to posting a 7-0 record vs. Mountain West opponents.
It marked the Hungarian's second straight year earning a spot on the All-MW Singles Team. Joining here in 2012 were two more players who also were a perfect 7-0 in league play in 2012: fellow sophomore Aleksandra Josifoska, ranked 113th-ranked nationally, stands 28-13 and 17-5 in duals and was also a repeat honoree; and junior Nives Pavlovic is 22-8 and 16-6 and also won the award in 2010.
Also, one UNLV doubles team was honored as the 80th-ranked tandem of Josifoska and Pavlovic was selected for the second consecutive season after going 12-9 playing at the top of the lineup, including a 3-3 mark vs. the MW.
That trio and the rest of UNLV get a day to rest before playing a semifinal match vs. host San Diego State on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. The winner of the tournament, which runs through Sunday, earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships in May.
2012 MW WOMEN'S TENNIS AWARDS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Lucia Batta, UNLV FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Stefanie Tan, TCU COACH OF THE YEAR: TBD
2012 ALL-MW SINGLES Christine Molina, Jr., Air Force Sonia Klamczynska, Sr., Boise State Natalie Heffron, Fr., Colorado State Michaela Bezdickova, So., New Mexico Laura Antonana Iriarte, So., San Diego State Julia Wais, Jr., San Diego State Simona Parajova, Fr., TCU Olivia Smith, Jr., TCU Stefanie Tan, Fr., TCU Lucia Batta, So., UNLV Aleksandra Josifoska, So., UNLV Nives Pavlovic, Jr., UNLV Veronica Popovici, So., Wyoming Simona Synkova, Jr., Wyoming
2012 ALL-MW DOUBLES Melissa Cecil/Tahlia Smoke, Air Force Manuela Pietzuch/Marlena Pietzuch, Boise State Michaela Bezdickova/Maria Sablina, New Mexico Roxanne Ellison/Sierra Ellison, San Diego State Olivia Smith/Millie Nichols, TCU Aleksandra Josifoska/Nives Pavlovic, UNLV Veronica Popovici/Simona Synkova, Wyoming