May 3, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army women's tennis announced its team-award winners this week, as the Black Knights recognized individuals who helped lead their team to an ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth.
Reigning Patriot League Player of the Year sophomore Jamila Paul earned the team's top individual honor as she collected the Most Valuable Player certificate for the second year in a row. Paul, who enters the NCAA regional round with a 24-6 singles record and team-best 28-7 doubles mark, earned Patriot League Player of the Month honors this week to go with her team MVP honors. She is a two-time All-Patriot League performer and provided the match-clinching point in the Black Knights semifinal win over Colgate in the Patriot League Tournament.
Paul and doubles partner Erin Colton, a senior co-captain, were named the team's most valuable doubles pair. The duo plays primarily at No. 2 and has authored a 22-7 mark on the year, including a 5-0 record against conference foes. Colton's 78 doubles wins rank seventh on Army's all-time list.
Upperclassmen Elle Taylor and Margaret Iliev garnered the team's Intestinal Fortitude and Hardest Worker awards, respectively. Taylor paired with older sister, Della, at No. 1 doubles for the majority of the spring season and owns a 14-11 overall mark and a perfect 5-0 record against Patriot League opponents. Iliev, also a doubles specialist, teamed with rookie Carolyn Pitman in the third flight and owns a 24-9 doubles mark on the season.
Pitman highlighted a group of rookies who have shined thus far for head coach Paul Peck. The West Chester, Ohio, native joined Paul as a double-winner as she took home the team's Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Doubles Player awards. Pitman evolved into the collegiate game as the season wore on and went 16-8 in singles and 20-9 in doubles action. She did not lose to a conference opponent all season.
Fellow rookie Gabriella Spindler leads the team in singles wins with a 26-7 mark. While her efforts on the court were nothing short of impressive, she garnered the teams Unsung Hero award for her demeanor and presence within the team culture. Spindler carries a team-best six-match singles win streak into next weekend's NCAA Tournament.
Classmate Eva Sung took home the team's Most Improved Award for singles play. The western Pennsylvania native worked her way into the starting lineup at No. 3 singles and provided a 12-8 record in dual matches this spring. She went 5-0 against conference opponents and collected a victory in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals.
Rounding out the award winners, freshman Haley O'Connor grabbed the Team Spirit Award. She garnered playing time in both singles (14-12) and doubles (15-4), but was recognized for her vocal leadership and willingness to contribute any way she could throughout the season.
After winning the program's 14th Patriot League title, the Black Knights carry a 22-6 overall record into the NCAA Tournament. Army drew regional host No. 7 UCLA in the opening round, which is set to be played on Saturday, March 11, at noon local time. Tickets for the NCAA Regionals can be purchased upon entrance to the Los Angeles Tennis Center (no advanced ticket sales). Prices are $7 for adults and $5 for youth/students.
2012-13 ARMY WOMEN’S TENNIS TEAM AWARDS
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
MOST IMPROVED SINGLES PLAYER
MOST VALUABLE DOUBLES PAIR
Erin Colton, Jamila Paul
MOST IMPROVED DOUBLES PLAYER
INTESTINAL FORTITUDE AWARD
TEAM SPIRIT AWARD
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR