May 5, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - One week after helping the Tulane University women's tennis team post a 13-9 record in its second year back on the courts, Green Wave standouts Mariam Kurdadze and Emma Levy earned spots on the 2010 Conference USA Women's Tennis All-Conference Team, the league announced Wednesday.
Kurdadze claimed first-team All C-USA honors while Levy claimed a spot on the league's second team. It was the second consecutive season that Kurdadze claimed first-team all-conference honors after earning the honor as a true freshman last season.
"Any time the end of the year rolls around and conference awards are being passed out, you know that a lot of girls on your team actually deserve those honors," Tulane head women's tennis coach Terri Sisk said. "It was nice to see Mariam once again get Conference USA first-team singles and as a freshman Emma Levy came in at second-team singles.
"I've said it many times this year, but Conference USA is becoming a very legitimate conference nationally as far as women's tennis goes. This is just sort of a nice cap on the year for both of these players. They're both very diligent, they both work very hard and they are the true heartbeat of this team."
A sophomore from Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, Kurdadze earned first-team All C-USA honors after posting a team-best 26-9 singles record for the year, including an 18-4 record in dual-match play and a 4-2 mark in league action. She is currently ranked the No. 6 singles player in the Southern Region in the latest ITA Regional standings. All of her spring results came at the No. 1 position and her 18 wins and .818 winning percentage at the No. 1 spot ranks second among C-USA players with more than three appearances atop the teams' respective lineups.
Of her 26 wins, 20 came in straight sets, including a 6-0, 6-0 win over UAB's Evelien Strijker in the first round of the C-USA Tournament. She was selected to participate in the prestigious Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championship during the fall, had a four-match winning streak from Sept. 19-26 and from Jan. 22-Feb. 10, a five-match winning streak from march 22-April 22, and a six-match streak from March 6-20.
"I expect to see Mariam continue to have accolades thrust upon her. This is just another pat on her back and another great year for Mariam. We expect to see more of that in years to come."
Her .714 winning percentage ranks fifth in the conference among freshmen and her 15 dual-match wins sits sixth among league rookies. The No. 11 singles player in the Southern Region in the latest ITA regional standings, Levy began the spring as Tulane's No. 3 player where she went 4-1 before finishing the season by going 11-5 at No. 2. Of her 21 wins, 16 came in straight sets and Levy twice limited her opponent to just two sets (6-0, 6-2 vs. Camille Pilon of Southeastern Louisiana on Feb. 6 and 6-1, 6-1 vs. Paula Alvarez of UAB in the first round of the C-USA Tournament on April 22). Levy had a six-match winning streak from Nov. 6-Feb. 10 and again from Feb. 27-March 17.
"Emma Levy does a lot of things right," Sisk said. "She's one of those that gets here early and stays late. She pushes herself every day. Some days, especially throughout the fall and spring, things can get very monotonous. It's very easy to be like, `Today, I don't feel like working hard. Today has just been a long day' Emma has never been that person. She has always given us 110 percent. You like to see these kinds of things happen for players that truly want to get better and help the program move to the next level. Mariam and Emma are definitely two of those girls."
In doubles, the tandem of Kurdadze and Levy posted an 18-11 record for the year, including a 12-6 mark in dual-match action and a 4-2 record in C-USA play. All 18 of their dual-match doubles outings came at the No. 1 position where the duo posted a four-match winning streak from March 6-17 and a six-match streak from Nov. 7-Feb. 12. The combo also won the Flight Doubles Draw at the Alonti Cougar Fall Draw in Houston on Nov. 7-8.
2010 CONFERENCE USA WOMEN'S TENNIS ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
First Team Singles
Rebekka Hanle, Rice
Alexandra Kichoutkin, Tulsa
Michaela Kissell, Marshall
Marta Lesniak, SMU
Aleksandra Malyarchikova, SMU
Mariam Kurdadze, Tulane
Second Team Singles
Edyta Cieplucha, SMU
Courtney Collins, Memphis
Anastasia Erofeeve, Tulsa
Shahzoda Hatamova, SMU
Jessica Jackson, Rice
Emma Levy, Tulane
Ashley Murdock, Memphis
Petra Vogel, East Carolina
Third Team Singles
Julie Chao, Rice
Pavi Francis, SMU
Bryony Hunter, Houston
Catherine Kellner, Marshall
Isabell Raich, Marshall
First Team Doubles
Michaela Kissell and Dominika Zaprazna, Marshall
Second Team Doubles
Julio Chao and Ana Guzman, Rice
Third Team Doubles
Alexandra Kichoutin and JoAnne Karaitiana, Tulsa