Women's Tennis Earns Third-Straight Team Award
July 17, 2003
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis women's tennis team received the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) ITA All-Academic Team award it was announced by the ITA, Thursday. In addition to their third straight team award, a program best five individuals were named to the ITA Scholar-Athlete honorees. In order to receive the team award, the team cumulative GPA for 2002-2003 had to be 3.2 or higher. Individual GPAs had to be 3.5 or higher to receive the Scholar-Athlete award.
Memphis was one of four Conference USA schools to receive the team award. Memphis was joined by Charlotte, Houston and Louisville on the list of honorees. Memphis was one of just eight schools to have five student-athletes post a GPA of 3.5 or higher during the past academic year. Only Evansville (7), Notre Dame (7), Alabama (6), UCF (6), Princeton (6), Rice (6) and Yale (6) had more individual student-athletes receive the Scholar-Athlete award.
2002-03 was a banner year for the Lady Tiger tennis program. Memphis finished with a 17-7 overall record and a fifth-place finish at the Conference USA tournament, despite injuries to two of the team's top six singles players. The 17 wins was the eighth-best single season win total in the program's history and included a stretch where the Lady Tigers made their first-ever appearance in the national rankings. Also earning the program's first-ever national recognition was the No. 1 doubles team of seniors Sabrina Lindemann and Monica Gonzalez-Gordo. The duo finished their Lady Tiger careers as the program's most-decorated players.
Lindemann, who graduated with her bachelor's degree in exercise science in just three years, was a second-team all-conference honoree in 2003, her third all-conference honor. She was honored by C-USA for having the highest GPA of all female tennis players in the league and was also a recipient of the league's sportsmanship award. In addition to her C-USA honors, Lindemann was named a third-team Verizon Academic All-District player and was named the University of Memphis athletic department's top female student-athlete in the spring. She also received the prestigious Elma Roane Award, as the athletic department's top female athlete. A native of Linz, Austria, Lindemann capped her four-year Lady Tiger career with a 90-56 record at No. 1 and 2 singles and a 98-44 record at No. 1 doubles.
This individual honor is her second-straight ITA Scholar-Athlete Award and her second ITA honor of the season. Lindemann also received the ITA Southeast Region Cissie Leary Leadership Award at the end of the spring season. A finalist for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, Lindemann will complete her Master's Degree in Business Administration in December.
Gonzalez-Gordo, Lindemann's No. 1 doubles teammate and the team's No. 2 singles player, also was a highly-decorated player for Memphis in 2002-03. She is a two-time all-Conference USA honoree and earned her first Verizon Academic All-District honor in 2003. In addition to her national ranking in doubles, Gonzalez-Gordo had an impressive singles career, leading Memphis with a 17-5 singles mark during the spring. For her two-year Lady Tiger career, Gonzalez-Gordo was 58-16 in singles. Named a Conference USA Player of the Week one time during the spring, Gonzalez-Gordo was also one of five Tiger student-athletes to earn an Arthur Ashe Jr. Leadership Sports Scholar five team honor. A member of the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll, Gonzalez-Gordo will graduate next May with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Junior Rebecca Garner received her first ITA academic honor in her second year as a Tiger. Garner came to Memphis in the fall of 2000 from her native England, and will complete her bachelor's degree in December of 2003. The junior went 4-4 in singles play during the fall season, advancing to the finals of the Middle Tennessee State Tournament in C singles. She also teamed with Murray State's Jamie Lee to advance to the consolation finals of the No. 3 doubles bracket at the University of Memphis/Varsity Pro Shop fall tournament before the match was rained out.
A three-time member of the Commissioner's Honor Roll, Garner is majoring in sports management at Memphis.
Newcomer Marlene Dirnstorfer came to Memphis in August of 2002 and immediately made an impact on the Lady Tiger line-up. Dirnstorfer finished the fall season with a 9-1 singles record, winning the C singles title at Saint Louis and advancing to the finals of the Middle Tennessee State tournament. In the spring, Dirnstorfer went 12-4 in singles, including a 7-3 mark at No. 5 singles before missing the Conference USA tournament with a foot injury. A Conference USA player of the week honoree after going 3-0 in both singles and doubles while helping Memphis pick up three straight road wins, including a win over No. 75 Georgia State, Dirnstorfer is majoring in economics at Memphis.
Freshman Andrea Feichtinger made a solid run at the Conference USA freshman of the year award after leading the team with a 17-5 singles record during the spring, including an 8-1 record at No. 6 singles. Feichtinger, who went 10-2 in singles during the fall and advanced to the finals of the Saint Louis tournament before winning the No. 5 singles title at the University of Memphis tournament. Feichtinger also teamed with fellow Austrian Viktoria Gruber to post a 13-6 record at No. 3 doubles.
Memphis loses three seniors off its 2002-03 roster, including Lindemann, Gonzalez-Gordo and Sumitra Rao, who led the team with a 12-2 singles record before a wrist injury affected her spring season. Garner will play in fall tournaments with the Lady Tigers before graduating a semester early and returning to England. Dirnstorfer, Gruber, Feichtinger and Memphis-area graduate Kristin Noble are all expected to return for 2003-04.
Memphis opens its fall season at the UT-Chattanooga tournament, Sept. 26-27. The Lady Tigers will host their own fall tournament Oct. 17-18. The complete 2003-04 women's tennis schedule is available on the U of M website at www.gotigersgo.com.