HRISTOVA & ESNAL OLGUIN Garner 2014 All-Conference USA Accolades
By ODU Athletics
IRVING, Texas – Old Dominion University’s women’s tennis standout, NIKOL HRISTOVA was one of just eight players to make the 2014 All-Conference USA Single’s First Team, while Hristova and teammate MELISSA ESNAL OLGUIN were named to the All-Conference USA Double's Second Team as announced by C-USA officials on Tuesday afternoon.
NIKOL HRISTOVA - All-Conference USA Singles First Team
Hristova, ODU’s No. 1 singles player throughout the entire season as a true sophomore, ended the regular season on a six-match winning streak and was the defending C-USA Player of the Week (first C-USA award received by an Old Dominion female tennis player in the school’s history).
The right-hander from Sofia, Bulgaria finished the regular season with an impressive 12-4 record. Against cross-town rival, Nikol Hristova picked up her first win against a ranked player by defeating William & Mary's nationally No. 90-ranked Masha Belaya in three sets to help secure ODU’s 4-3 team win.
Just last week, Hristova earned a wildcard spot to participate in the prestigious Boyd Tinsley Clay Court Classic at Boars Head Country Club in Charlottesville,Va.
MELISSA ESNAL OLGUIN & NIKOL HRISTOVA - All-Conference USA Doubles Second Team
Each and every match Hristova and senior teammate Melissa Esnal Olguin received the nod for the No. 1 double’s slot, where they compiled an incredible 9-2 overall record this season. In fact, Hristova and Esnal Olguin’s last loss came all the way back on March 9th, which was against No. 46 South Florida. ODU’s No. 1 single’s team ended the season on a five match winning streak. Also, Hristova and Esnal Olguin were leading in three other of their matches, before the clinch rule was called into effect.
2014 CONFERENCE USA ACCOLADES
A two-time All-Conference USA first-team selection, Tulane senior KLARA VYSKOCILOVA was named the 2014 C-USA Women's Tennis Player of the Year. The 59h-ranked player in the nation completed the spring with a perfect dual record of 13-0 at No. 1 singles. For the entire season, she was 20-6 in singles with a 5-2 mark against nationally-ranked opponents, including two wins against Top 25 players. Vyskocilova was named the Feb. 18 C-USA Player of the Week and earned a spot on the league's All-Academic Team.
Earning her third consecutive Coach of the Year honor is Rice's ELIZABETH SCHMIDT. The sixth-year head coach has guided the Owls to a No. 19 national ranking and a repeat as the C-USA Champion to earn the league's automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Championship. Rice is also represented by three student-athletes on the All-Conference USA first team - junior NATALIE BEAZANT, senior DOMINIQUE HARMATH and freshman KATHERINE IP.
Beazant, the 2012 C-USA Player and Freshman of the Year and a three-time All-Conference first-team selection, ranks 10th in school history with 84 career wins. She was named the 2014 C-USA Outstanding Singles Player of the Championship and was half of the Outstanding Doubles tandem with teammate LIAT ZIMMERMANN. Beazant went 3-0 at this year's conference championship and improved to 7-0 all-time. Paired with Zimmerman, they currently rank No. 52 in the ITA rankings and also earned a spot as the All-Conference USA doubles first team.
Harmath is ranked No. 92 by the ITA and capped her senior season with a career-best 18-4 dual mark in singles, including a stretch of 11-straight wins. She ranks sixth all-time in school history with a 94-41 (.696) career record.
Ip was voted C-USA Freshman of the Year as she capped off her first year of competition by clinching the winning point in the 2014 C-USA Championship match. She finished the year with a 16-4 singles mark, winning 12 of her last 13 decisions, and was 4-1 at doubles.
Earning C-USA Newcomer of the Year accolades is Middle Tennessee junior TIFFANY WILLIAM. The transfer from Auburn-Montgomery also made a splash with an appearance on the All-Conference USA first team following her inaugural season with the Blue Raiders. She was 18-4 at No. 1 singles, collecting the most singles wins in a season for MT since 2006. William was 3-0 at the C-USA Championship and closed out the year winning nine of her last 10 matches.
Rounding out the All-C-USA Singles first team is Louisiana Tech's ALEXANDRA STARKOVA.
The entire 2014 All-Conference USA Women's Tennis selections and Specialty Awards can be seen below:
2014 ALL-CONFERENCE USA SINGLES TEAM
Alexandra Starkova, LA Tech
Tiffany William, Middle Tennessee
Nikol Hristova, Old Dominion
Natalie Beazant, Rice
Dominique Harmath, Rice
Katherine Ip, Rice
Klara Vyskocilova, Tulane
Marcelina Cichon, Tulsa
Carlotta Orlando, FIU
Dana Oppinger, Marshall
Kseniya Bardabush, North Texas
Anastasiya Shestakova, North Texas
Liat Zimmermann, Rice
Renata Kuricova, Tulsa
Maria Sant’Anna, Tulsa
Rongrong Leenabanchong, Tulsa
Macy Vonderschmidt, Charlotte
Dana Gray, East Carolina
Giulietta Boha, FIU
Jazmin Britos, LA Tech
Derya Turhan, Marshall
Kai Broomfield, Marshall
Kim Anicete, Rice
Alison Ho, Rice
Carolin Drescher, Southern Miss
Miriam Rosell Canudas, UTSA
2014 ALL-CONFERENCE USA DOUBLES TEAM
Coach of the Year: Elizabeth Schmidt, Rice
Player of the Year: Klara Vyskocilova, Tulane
Freshman of the Year: Katherine Ip, Rice
Newcomer of the Year: Tiffany William, Middle Tennessee
Outstanding Singles Player of the Championship: Natalie Beazant, Rice
Outstanding Doubles Team of the Championship: Natalie Beazant/Liat Zimmermann, Rice