University of Miami women’s tennis players Julia Cohen, Bianca Eichkorn and Laura Vallverdu were selected as Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Americans on Friday afternoon as released from the ITA home office in Skillman, N.J. Four UM players were ranked in the final ITA/Campbell’s Singles poll.
Laura Vallverdu, a junior from Valencia, Venezuela, collected her third consecutive ITA All-America award Friday, and finishes the season ranked No. 10 in the final ITA/Campbell’s Singles poll. Vallverdu completed the 2008-09 season with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships in College Station, Texas, and ended the year with her third-straight 30-win season—holding a record of 33-8 (26-4 dual). She also went 18-8 against nationally ranked competitors after missing almost the entire fall season with injury.
Vallverdu, a three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) performer, ended the year as the first player in school history to amass 30-or more wins in each of her first three seasons, while also ranking sixth all-time in women’s tennis history for career singles wins (96). She will enter her senior year (2009-10) eyeing UM all-time leader Audrey Bañada (2003-07) who posted a record of 110-32 through four years under the guidance of Yaroshuk-Tews. Vallverdu is also a nominee for the 2009 Honda Sports Trophy Award.
Vallverdu also ends the season ranked No. 21 in the national doubles poll alongside sophomore Michaela Kissell after the two combined for a record of 18-9 on the year (14-5 dual), earning a trip into the Round of 16 at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Doubles Championships. Vallverdu is also ranked No. 44 in the doubles poll with sophomore Julia Cohen after the duo combined to post a record of 9-3 during the early stages of the spring. Overall, Vallverdu posted a doubles record of 28-12 on the season—collecting the third-most doubles victories on this year’s roster.
For sophomore Julia Cohen, her 33-8 record on the year (23-5 dual) and semifinal run in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships allowed her to collect her first-ever ITA All-American honor. The Philadelphia, Pa. native ended the season with a record of 33-8, tying Vallverdu for third-most wins on the squad. After transferring from the University of Florida a year ago, Cohen ends her first year in Coral Gables ranked No. 5 in the ITA/Campbell’s Singles poll.
During the year, Cohen became the first sophomore in UM history to earn a trip to the semifinals of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships. She also registered a record of 22-8 against nationally ranked foes, and finished the season as the only undefeated No. 1 singles player in the ACC at 11-0. Leading into the ACC Championships, Cohen collected 15 consecutive singles wins, including a straight-set (6-4, 6-1) win over the nation’s top-ranked player from Clemson, Ani Mijacika. In fact, Cohen posted three top five upsets during her 15-match winning streak.
In doubles play, Cohen finished the year with a mark of 23-6, as well as a 14-2 record alongside fellow All-American Bianca Eichkorn. Together, they finished the year ranked No. 37 in the final national doubles poll.
Fellow sophomore Bianca Eichkorn is accepting her first ITA All-American award, concluding the best season of any sophomore in the history of the UM women’s tennis program. She became just the third player in UM history to reach 40 wins in a season, posting a record of 40-9 on the campaign, and reaching the Round of 16 at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships. Her 40 wins in third-best all-time in a single season, trailing only All-Americans Megan Bradley (2004-05) and Audra Cohen (2006-07).
Last Friday, Eichkorn was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III Second Team, adding to the list of accomplishments throughout the season. Eichkorn ends the season ranked No. 31 in the ITA/Campbell’s Singles poll, while also ranking 37th in the final doubles poll, alongside classmate Cohen.
For head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews, this is the second time in three years she’s had three players named All-American in the same season. In 2007, NCAA Singles Champion (2007) Audra Cohen, UM all-time career singles leader Audrey Bañada and Laura Vallverdu collected the honor.
Michaela Kissell finished the year with a record of 36-9 in singles play, helping her to finish ranked No. 52 in the final national singles poll. She ended the season placing herself in a tie for fifth place all-time for single-season victories—sitting alongside Ronni Reis Bernstein (1984-85), current head coach at the University of Michigan.
In doubles play, Kissell finished the year with a record of 33-16, including a dual record of 23-8 on her way to the Round of 16 at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Doubles Championships alongside Vallverdu. Her 33 doubles wins was the most on the team.
As a team, the University of Miami finished the season ranked seventh in the Campbell’s/ITA team poll released by the ITA last week. For the Hurricanes, it is their highest finish since ending the year fourth and advancing to the NCAA Championship match in 2006. It’s also the fourth time in the last eight years UM has ended the year ranked amongst the Top 10.
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