Manilla Names Yana Sokolenko Associate Head Coach
By ODU Athletics
NORFOLK, Va. – Old Dominion women’s tennis head coach Dominic Manilla announced the addition of Yana Sokolenko as Associate Head Coach on Thursday afternoon.
“I’m excited to work with Coach Sokolenko,” said Manilla. “Her previous experience as a head coach and her renowned reputation as a tenacious recruiter will immediately add value to our already strong program.”
“I am thankful to Dominic Manilla for this opportunity to join one of the most dynamic and growing college programs in Division I,” said Sokolenko. “I have been impressed by all of the success this program has built in past years. I am really looking forward to helping ODU achieve their team goal of winning the conference title. I am very happy to be a part of the Monarchs Family.”
Sokolenko spent three seasons as the Miami of Ohio Head Coach, where she led the RedHawks to back-to-back regular season MAC titles in 2015 and 2016, as well as won the MAC Tournament in 2015, punching a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Prior to coaching at Miami of Ohio, Sokolenko spent a total of seven years as the Associate Head Coach at VCU. She won the 2006-07 NCAA Division I East Region Assistant Coach of the Year Award, after helping steer the Rams to the best season in school history, finishing No. 12 in the national rankings after advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
In 2006, 2010 and 2012, the Rams won CAA conference titles. In 2013 and 2014, they won Atlantic 10 conference championships.
In all, Sokolenko has helped lead her respective teams to 10 NCAA Tournaments (’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13, ’14 and ’15).
“Finding a coach at this point in the season was difficult,” explained Manilla. “We chose to take our time to identify an individual that will help us achieve great things here at Old Dominion. I truly believe Old Dominion tennis is on the brink of new heights.”
Prior to her coaching career, she played tennis at VCU from 1999-2002, where she was instrumental in the Rams advancing to the 2012 NCAA Quarterfinals. While in Richmond, she was an All-American Scholar Athlete (2000) and Dean’s List recipient (1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003). Sokolenko received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (3.7 GPA) in December of 2001 and then earned her Masters of Arts degree in Economics (3.9 GPA) in May of 2005.
“Yana and I have known and competed against each other for years," Manilla concluded. “I have great respect for her. Not only is she a world class coach, she is also an amazing person that will have a strong presence in the Hampton Roads tennis community and 757 tennis.”
On a professional level, Sokolenko was ranked as high as No. 529 in the world (WTA Tour). In 1996-97, she was a member of the Belarus National Fed Team.
Most recently, Sokolenko has spent the past year managing her own small tennis academy, Team GP, in Marbella, Spain.
Paul Kostin on Yana Sokolenko:
(Kostin has been named USPTA Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year 12 times, has been chosen as the ITA Regional Coach of the Year four times and was one of eight finalists for the ITA's National Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1997. He was named the 2000 National College Coach of the Year by the USPTA and was named conference Coach of the Year 14 times. He has compiled a 1,155-423 record in 37 seasons at VCU and Arkansas-Little Rock, and has guided his teams to 41 conference titles and 37 NCAA Tournament appearances.)
“First of all, she the greatest! Not only as a coach, but also as a teacher, recruiter, leader and person who can motivate, push and encourage players, so they can reach their highest potential. I also need to say that she is great when dealing with not only the players, but also parents and administrators.”
“In conclusion, she was instrumental to the success that VCU women’s tennis had as long as she was here and when she was running the show. ODU, you are lucky to have her; and believe me, she will make everybody happy!”