High rankings for Opata, Callis make them All-America
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Anastesia Opata and Angelina Callis collected more honors Monday when they were named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's 30-member NAIA All-America women's team.
NAIA players qualify for ITA All-America by making the top 20 in singles or the top 10 in doubles in the final season rankings. Opata and Callis were No. 8 in the final ITA doubles rankings announced Friday — the highest rank ever by a Xavier women's doubles tandem — and Opata was 18th in singles. Callis also finished 38th in singles, her highest rank ever.
They are the second and third Gold Nuggets to make an ITA All-America team. Dominique Bell did it in 2007. Opata (first team) and Callis (second team) were named to the NAIA's All-America team — selected by the NAIA tournament committee — on May 16.
Opata, a junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., and Central Gwinnett High School, was 20-5 in singles and 22-3 in doubles this past season, winning 18 of her final 19 singles decisions and her final 13 doubles matches with Callis. She is one of 10 this year — and the first from Xavier — to make the final top 10 in doubles and the final top 20 in singles.
Callis, a junior from Los Angeles and a graduate of Dorchester (Mass.) High School, was 20-7 in singles and 24-4 in doubles.
Xavier is one of nine schools with multiple All-Americans. NAIA runner-up Fresno Pacific leads all schools with five selections, and champion Auburn Montgomery has four.
Xavier was 19-7 this year, winning the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference championship for the sixth time in eight seasons and reaching the second round of the NAIA National Championship for the fourth time in five seasons.
2009 ITA / NAIA All-America Women's Tennis Team
Yulia Blinovskaya, Fresno Pacific
Angelina Callis, Xavier
Ching Chen Auburn Montgomery
Hillary Collins, Savannah Art and Design
Paola Costa, Oklahoma Baptist
Olfa Dahoui, Oklahoma Christian
Ornelia Gentile, Fresno Pacific
Paula Ghilardotti, Brenau
Vanessa Heroux, Fresno Pacific
Stephanie Herz, Berry
Hana Jurcovicova, Vanguard
Maria Klokotsky, Fresno Pacific
Paige McKinney, Bethel (Kan.)
Bea Mompo, Cumberland
Marcela Montanha, California Baptist
Anastesia Opata, Xavier
Rachel Owens, Point Loma Nazarene
Irina Pljusznyin, Savannah Art and Design
Bettina Radke, Hope International
Katia Sabate, Fresno Pacific
Delia Sesccioreanu, Auburn Montgomery
Jennifer Sher, Concordia (Calif.)
Kristin Strimple, Point Loma Nazarene
Betty Tesfa, Vanguard
Tereza Veverkova, Auburn Montgomery
Julie Verdy, Auburn Montgomery
Dunya Wren, California Baptist
Natasha Yakimovich, Cumberland
Kristin Yep, Concordia (Calif.)
Natasa Zoricic, Embry-Riddle (Fla.)