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

May 4, 2017

ROSEMONT, Ill. - The Big Ten announced its women’s tennis All-Conference team and individual award winners on Thursday following the Big Ten Women’s Tennis Tournament. Ohio State’s Francesca Di Lorenzo was named Athlete of the Year, while Iowa’s Elise van Heuvelen took home Freshman of the Year honors and the Buckeyes’ Melissa Schaub was tabbed Coach of the Year.

Di Lorenzo reels in Player of the Year accolades after going 11-0 in Big Ten singles play at the No. 1 position. The sophomore claimed three Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors this spring, pushing her career total to five weekly awards. She closed out the regular season ranked No. 1 in the country and led the Buckeyes to their second consecutive Big Ten Championship and the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Di Lorenzo’s award marks the fourth Athlete of the Year honor for a Buckeye and her second award in as many years.

Van Heuvelen finished her first collegiate season with six wins over conference opponents. The newcomer finished the season ranked 85th in doubles alongside Zoe Douglas and claimed one Big Ten Athlete of the Week honor this season. Van Heuvelen is the fifth Hawkeye to be named Freshman of the Year and the first since Sonja Molnar in 2009.

Schaub collects her third Coach of the Year award overall and third in as many seasons after guiding the Buckeyes to an 11-0 record in conference play and their second consecutive Big Ten Championship. The 2017 Big Ten Tournament Champions finished the season with a 25-2 record and ranked No. 4 in the country. This marks the fourth time that an Ohio State mentor has earned Coach of the Year laurels, including Schaub’s honors the last two seasons and Chuck Merzbacher’s selection in 1999.  



Di Lorenzo was one of six unanimous All-Big Ten selections and was joined by fellow Buckeyes Anna Sanford and Gabriella De Santis, Michigan’s Kate Fahey and Brienne Minor and Northwestern’s Erin Larner. Also earning consideration on the All-Big Ten team are Illinois’ Louise Kwong, Indiana’s Madison Appel, Iowa’s Elise van Heuvelen, Maryland’s Alexandra Stanova, Michigan’s Alex Najarian, Minnesota’s Caroline Ryba, Northwestern’s Maddie Lipp and Ohio State’s Miho Kowase.

The Big Ten also recognized 14 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The students chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These students 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.


Player of the Year: Francesca Di Lorenzo, Ohio State

Freshman of the Year: Elise van Heuvelen, Iowa

Coach of the Year: Melissa Schaub, Ohio State

All-Big Ten Team

Louise Kwong, Illinois

Madison Appel, Indiana

Elise van Heuvelen, Iowa

Alexandra Stanova, Maryland



Alex Najarian, Michigan

Caroline Ryba, Minnesota


Maddie Lipp, Northwestern



Miho Kowase, Ohio State


Unanimous selections in CAPS

Sportsmanship Award Winners

Louise Kwong, Illinois

Pauline Jahren, Indiana

Adorabol Huckleby, Iowa

Katsiaryna Yemelyanenka, Maryland

Annie Wierda, Michigan

Emily Metcalf, Michigan State

Caroline Ryba, Minnesota

Paula Del Cueto Castillo, Nebraska

Lee Or, Northwestern

Sandy Niehaus, Ohio State

Katia Blik, Penn State

Andjela Djokovic, Purdue

Jacqueline Cochrane, Rutgers

Melissa Pick, Wisconsin