Arizona women’s tennis garnered four of the seven 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I women’s tennis awards in the southwest region, the ITA announced on Tuesday.
Head coach Vicky Maes was named Coach of the Year, assistant coach Nick Dargene was named Assistant Coach of the Year, senior Lacey Smyth was named Senior Player of the Year and senior Akilah James was named Most Improved Senior of the Year.
Maes led the Wildcats to a 17-6 season, including an undefeated record at home. Under Maes’ direction, Arizona was selected to compete in the NCAA Championships for the eighth time in Maes’ 13-year tenure.
In his second year at UA, Dargene has assisted Maes in the team’s success.
“Nick has been instrumental in this year’s team’s success,” Maes said. “His positive attitude and knowledge of the game bring great energy to practices and competition. In only a short period of time, he has had a significant impact at Arizona and I’m pleased to see him win this award.”
Smyth has led the Wildcats at the No. 1 spot all season, posting a 16-6 record against some of the best players in the country. She has earned six wins over ranked players and has spent eight weeks in the singles player rankings.
On Wednesday, May 21, Smyth will compete in the NCAA Singles Championships, an honor she has achieved for the third-straight year.
“Lacey has been a steady competitor for the Cats,” Maes said. “She is about to make her third visit to the NCAA tournament and that shows a lot of high-level consistency. We have always been able to count on Lacey to bring her best to practice and matches. This is a wonderful honor for her.”
James has also been a consistent contributor for Arizona after recording a 12-7 singles record at the No. 3 and 4 spots and a 17-4 doubles record in her senior season.
“Kiki has made a lot of progress since arriving at Arizona only two years ago,” Maes said. “She came here with the goal of taking on better competition and has done a very good job both in singles and doubles. Kiki has also had a strong influence on our team atmosphere, bringing humor and energy whenever possible.”
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