IUP tennis stars earn PSAC honors, preps for NCAA Tournament
Published: Friday, April 27, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 13:04
IUP women’s tennis has received multiple Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors.
Tanya Timko was named to the All-PSAC singles team and also was named the 2012 PSAC West Freshman of the Year.
“I was pretty surpised,” Timko said. “I had the mindset to just go out and play the game. I feel blessed. How many freshmen can say they’ve had this much success?”
Tabtip Louhabanjong was also named to the All-PSAC singles team.
“It is an honor for me to receive this award,” Louhabanjong said. “I think it has been a great year for us. Everyone on our team has been working really hard.”
Louhabanjong was sure to acknowledge the team as well.
“This award means a lot to me and I also think all my teammates deserve this award as well,” she said. “I’m very proud of all my teammates and for what we have accomplished this year.”
The honors continued as Louhabanjong and Katie Eaton were named to the All-PSAC doubles team.
“I was quite happy to get it,” Eaton said. “And I was happy for my partner.”
“Katie and Tab have had a great year,” IUP Head Coach Larry Peterson said. “They play in the top half of our line up. Katie has played a few matches at two, but primarily at three all year. And Tab has held the banner for our program at No. 1 all year. They’re both great players, and they’ve both improved a lot since they got to IUP.”
Peterson was named PSAC West Coach of the Year. This is his fourth season at IUP and his first coach of the year award.
“It’s always nice to be recognized by the coaches in the conference,” Peterson said. “But I also know that if the team is winning coaches are generally going to be recognized. I think of it more as a team accomplishment because we’ve been able to put together a great program, and because the girls are getting it done on the court. I think the whole team deserves credit for that.”
Timko is ranked 14th in the Atlantic Region and completed her season at the number two spot with an 8-4 record, 18-9 overall, and has a 3-2 record against divisional competition.
“Tanya is a very, very talented player,” Peterson said. “She’s had some very nice wins both in singles and doubles. She is very good at stepping up in big matches and bringing her A game, and competing against a higher level opponent. She’s got a bright career in front of her.”
Her teammates Louhabanjong and Eaton are former recipients of the Freshman of the Year award, making this the third consecutive year the honor has been awarded to an IUP player.
Louhabanjong had an 18-13 overall record at the number one spot and went 3-2 in PSAC West competition as the 10th-ranked player. This is her second year receiving an All-PSAC singles team selection.
Louhabanjong and Eaton, the ninth-ranked pairing in the region, played at the number two spot for IUP. They had a 20-10 overall record and a 3-2 record in divisional play including four wins over higher-ranked teams.
Peterson has led the Crimson Hawks to two-straight PSAC tournaments and three NCAA tournaments. He guided IUP to a 20-7 this season with nine shutouts and a 62-39 overall record.
The Hawks earned the second seed in the conference tournament and made it to the championship match for the second year in a row before falling to Cal.
IUP now looks forward to the NCAA tournament, which begins this weekend.
“I think all of us are very excited that IUP is hosting for regional,” Louhabajong said. “It was one of our team goals at the beginning of the year that we want to host regional and we did it.”
IUP has been selected to host the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Division II Championships.
The competition begins Saturday with No. 2 seed IUP facing No. 7 seed West Liberty of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. IUP defeated West Liberty 8-1 on April 12.