NCAA Womens Tennis

Virginia Women’s Tennis | Cavaliers Dominate ITA Atlantic Regional Honors

Virginia Women's Tennis | Cavaliers Dominate ITA Atlantic Regional Honors

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –  The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced today (June 12) the recipients of the 2024 Division I Women’s Regional Awards, recognizing coaches and players for their excellence on the court and in their communities throughout the season.

The Cavaliers garnered five of the region’s six honors.

Hibah Shaikh was voted the ITA Atlantic Region Senior Player of the Year and the region’s Most Improved Player. Sophomore Annabelle Xu was tabbed as the region’s Player to Watch. Head coach Sara O’Leary was named the regional Coach of the Year, while associate head coach Gina Suarez-Malaguti was named the Assistant Coach of the Year.

Shaikh reached a career-best No. 18 ranking in singles this season after being ranked No. 85 in the preseason. She played exclusively in the top two positions in the Cavalier lineup, going 25-13, after playing positions 4-6 in her previous three seasons. She tallied three wins against opponents in the top 10 of the ITA singles rankings, including a top-five victory, and was voted to the All-ACC Second Team in singles and the third team in doubles. These are her first regional honors.

Xu advanced to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Singles Championship, finishing the season at a career-best No. 44 ranking in singles after being ranked No. 71 in the preseason rankings, earning ITA All-America honors. She posted a 23-11 singles record, earning a place on the All-ACC First Team in singles. This is her first regional honor.

O’Leary and Suarez-Malaguti guided the team to a program-record 25 victories this season, advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the second time in three years. The Cavaliers finished 12-1 in conference play and were ACC Regular Season Co-Champions for just the second time in program history. Last week, O’Leary was named the ACC Coach of the Year, the first Cavalier coach since 2006 to earn the honor.

This is the second time that O’Leary has been voted the top coach in the region and the fourth time Suarez-Malaguti earned the accolade.

The national award winners selected from the pool of 12 regional winners for each honor will be announced on Thursday, June 13.

Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year:
Sara O’Leary, Virginia
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year:
Gina Suarez-Malaguti, Virginia
ITA Most Improved:
Hibah Shaikh, Virginia
Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award:
Erika Cheng, Virginia Tech
ITA Senior Player of the Year:
Hibah Shaikh, Virginia

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Women’s Tennis – Virginia Cavaliers Official Athletic Site…