Women's Tennis Garners Several ITA Regional Awards
May 14, 2013
ITA Regional Award Winners
SKILLMAN, N.J. - The University of Memphis women's tennis team received several regional accolades from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on Tuesday with Lee Taylor Walker, Mark Finnegan, Courtney Collins and Tiffany Welcher being recognized for their achievements this season.
Walker was named the Wilson/ITA Ohio Valley Region Coach of the Year for the first time in his career after guiding the Lady Tigers to an 18-7 record and the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance. Memphis defeated Florida State in the first round of the tournament, and posted six wins over ranked opponents this season with three of those coming over teams ranked in the top 25.
Finnegan was named the ITA Ohio Valley Region Assistant Coach of the Year. He received the honor on the men's side last season after helping the Tigers to the program's first NCAA berth. Now in his fifth season working with the women's team, Finnegan was instrumental in helping the Lady Tigers reach postseason play for the first time in the program's 38-year history.
Collins was named the ITA Ohio Valley Region Senior of the Year after a 16-9 record and five wins over ranked opponents this season. Collins missed most of the fall season to recover from shoulder surgery, but reached as high as No. 23 in the nation in singles. She will compete at the NCAA Championships, May 22-27, in Urbana, Ill., after being selected as one of 64 players from around the country to qualify for the national tournament. This is Collins' second regional award of her career after being awarded the Ohio Valley's Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship in 2012.
Welcher was given the Cissie Leary honor this season for the first regional accolade of her career. She recorded a 21-7 mark in singles play this year and a 27-10 record in doubles, tying for third for single-season doubles wins in program history. She began her career at the University of Alabama before transferring to Memphis in 2011 after sitting out two years with injuries. She was a leader on and off the court for the Lady Tigers this season, and is known by her teammates, coaches, and the Memphis athletic staff as someone who will go out of their way to show compassion to others.
The four winners will now go against the award winners from the 11 other regions across the country for a chance to be named a national winner in their respective categories.