A winning record isn’t the only thing the Penn State Abington women’s tennis team has to boast about: The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) recently honored them with its 2010-11 female team sportsmanship award.
"This is a great way for the women's team to finish off a wonderful season," said David Sheaffer, the team's coach for the past three seasons.
This season, their overall record was 8-5 and 4-2 in the NEAC. They captured the No. 3 seed in the NEAC championships and five student-athletes were selected to all-conference teams, but illness and injury presented challenges late in the season.
“Diana Cedeno was hospitalized the night before our team tournament, and Hong Phuong Nguyen went out with a devastating injury in the first match of our playoff run,” Sheaffer said.
Five students are returning for the fall 2011 season: Jenny Abraham, Lauren Hetzel, Stephanie Mockus, Lori Phillips, Mary Bridget Worozbyt. Their teammates from last season were Cedeno, Rebekah Dubin, Naina Gimadeyeva and Nguyen.
Academics are also a priority for these women. Abraham, Dubin, Gimadeyva, Mockus, Nguyen and Phillips were named to the Penn State Abington 2011 Spring Director’s List, which honors student-athletes who maintained a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Also, members of the tennis program have been busy this summer running clinics for children and adults.
“Jenny Abraham has been working with the kids clinics all summer and will be returning as one of our captains,” Sheaffer said.
“Jenny and Lori Phillips seem to spend countless hours on the courts this summer as they prepare for a new season this fall,” he continued. “Both were new to the sport two years ago when the team went 1-14. Now, I foresee them taking a true leadership role as we welcome several new players in for the 2011-12 season.”
“Coach Sheaffer and his team have done a terrific job of representing what NCAA Division III is all about," said Karen Weaver, Penn State Abington's athletic director.