Big Ten Announces Women's Tennis All-Conference Teams and Individual Award Winners

April 26, 2012

The Big Ten announced on Thursday its women’s tennis All-Conference teams and individual award winners at the conference tournament banquet. Nebraska’s Mary Weatherholt was named Athlete of the Year, while Michigan’s Emina Bektas took home Freshman of the Year honors. The Wolverines’ Ronni Bernstein and the Huskers’ Scott Jacobsen were tabbed Co-Coaches of the Year.

Weatherholt reels in Athlete of the Year accolades after compiling a 10-1 Big Ten singles record and going 9-1 in conference doubles contests. Weatherholt closed out the regular season ranked 45th in the country and is the first Husker to earn Big Ten Athlete of the Year honors.

Bektas earns a unanimous selection after posting an 8-3 mark in Big Ten singles play and a 10-1 doubles record. Bektas is currently ranked 12th in the nation and is the fifth Wolverine to be named Freshman of the Year, and the third in a row after teammate Brooke Bolender won the award in 2011 and Mimi Nguyen received the honor in 2010.

Bernstein collects her third consecutive Coach of the Year award and the seventh in Michigan history. The Wolverine head coach led her team to a 17-6 overall record and a 10-1 ledger in conference play en route to the Big Ten title.

Jacobsen becomes the first Nebraska coach to take home Coach of the Year honors after leading the Huskers to a 23-3 overall record and a 9-2 mark in conference play. Jacobsen becomes the first Nebraska head coach to take home Coach of the Year honors, guiding Nebraska to the No. 4 seed in this year’s tournament.

Bektas and Weatherholt are both unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selections and are joined by Iowa’s Sonja Molnar, Michigan’s Bolender, Northwestern’s Kate Turvy and Penn State’s Petra Januskova as unanimous picks. Also on the first team were Illinois’ Allison Falkin and Melissa Kopinski, Indiana’s Leslie Hureau, Minnesota’s Natallia Pintusava, Northwestern’s Belinda Niu and Purdue’s Jennifer Rabot.



Earning consideration on the second team are Illinois’ Marisa Lambropoulus, Michigan’s Sarah Lee, Nebraska’s Patricia Veresova, Northwestern’s Brittany Wowchuk, Penn State’s Chelsea Utting and Wisconsin’s Alaina Trgovich.

The Big Ten also recognized 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The complete list of honorees can be found below.


First Team All-Big Ten

Allison Falkin, Illinois

Melissa Kopinski, Illinois

Leslie Hureau, Indiana




Natallia Pintusava, Minnesota


Belinda Niu, Northwestern

KATE TURVY, Northwestern


Jennifer Rabot, Purdue

Second Team All-Big Ten

Marisa Lambropoulus, Illinois

Sarah Lee, Michigan

Patricia Veresova, Nebraska

Brittany Wowchuck, Northwestern

Chelsea Utting, Penn State

Alaina Trgovich, Wisconsin

Unanimous selections in CAPS


Athlete of the Year: Mary Weatherholt, Nebraska

Freshman of the Year: EMINA BEKTAS, Michigan

Co-Coach of the Year: Ronni Bernstein, Michigan

Co-Coach of the Year: Scott Jacobson, Nebraska


Unanimous selections in CAPS



Melissa Kopinski, Illinois

Sophie Garre, Indiana

Cassandra Escobar, Iowa

Mimi Nguyen, Michigan

Dana Guentert, Michigan State

Alexa Palen, Minnesota

Mary Weatherholt, Nebraska

Veronica Corning, Northwestern

Tiffany Dittmer, Ohio State

Nina Sertic, Penn State

Lynda Xepoleas, Purdue

Nicky Stracar, Wisconsin