2016-17 Women's Tennis Season in Review

June 9, 2017

National Champions
A trio of Big Ten standouts collected national titles this season, with Michigan claiming a singles title and Ohio State earning the doubles crown. Sophomore Brienne Minor of the University of Michigan women's tennis team became the program's first national champion, defeating Florida's Belinda Woolcock, 6-3, 6-3, to win the NCAA singles championship on May 29 at Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Ohio State's Francesca Di Lorenzo and Miho Kowase claimed the programs first NCAA Championship, defeating Alabama’s Maddie Pothoff & Erin Routliffe, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 10-7, to win the doubles title in Athens, Ga. For more information on the NCAA Tournament, click here.

NCAA Championships
Michigan, Northwestern and Ohio State represented the Big Ten at the 2017 NCAA Women's Tennis Championship, while Michigan’s Brienne Minor and Kate Fahey, and Ohio State’s Francesca Di Lorenzo qualified for the singles rounds. Michigan’s Fahey and Alex Najarian, Northwestern’s Alex Chatt and Maddie Lipp and Ohio State's Miho Kowase and Di Lorenzo represented the Big Ten in the doubles competition. For more information about the NCAA Tournament, click here and here.

Four Standouts Named All-Americans
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the 2017 ITA All-Americans, with four Big Ten women’s tennis players garnering honors. Michigan’s Kate Fahey and Brienne Minor garnered singles honors after leading the Wolverines to their 15th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship, while Ohio State’s Francesca Di Lorenzo earned recognition after leading the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Championship and advancing to the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships. Ohio State's doubles pair of Di Lorenzo and Miho Kowase earned All-America honors after winning the NCAA Women’s Tennis Doubles Championships. Click here for more information.



Di Lorenzo Named CoSIDA Academic All-American
The 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Division I At-Large Teams were announced, with a combined 17 Big Ten students earning recognition. To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated. Highlighting the third team is Ohio State women’s tennis player Francesca Di Lorenzo. Click here for the full list of honorees.

Tournament Champions
With a 4-0 victory over No. 2 seed Michigan, top-seeded Ohio State won the 2017 Big Ten Women's Tennis Tournament Championship at the Atkins Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. The Buckeyes earned their second consecutive conference tournament crown and second overall. For more information on the Big Ten Tournament, click here.

Conference Champions
Michigan and Ohio State both clinched a share of the Big Ten Women's Tennis Championship. The Wolverines and Buckeyes each picked up victories to finish the season tied for first place at 11-0 in conference play. The title marks the eighth championship in Michigan's program history and the second Big Ten crown for Ohio State. No. 10 Michigan earned a 4-0 victory over Illinois, while No. 5 Ohio State defeated Purdue, 4-0. The Wolverines improved to 19-4 on the season and the Buckeyes improved to 25-2 overall. Click here for more information.

And the Awards Go To
The Big Ten announced its women’s tennis All-Conference team and individual award winners 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. Click here to learn more about the honorees.

Academic All-Big Ten Honorees 
The Big Ten Conference recognized a total of 1,645 students competing in spring and at-large sports who were named to the Academic All-Conference team. The list of honorees features 74 women’s tennis athletes. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, students must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Click here for the full list of honorees.

Niehaus Earns Outstanding Sportsmanship Award
The Big Ten announced the 28 honorees named Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2016-17 academic year. The standouts were chosen from a group of more than 350 students honored throughout the academic year who had displayed positive sportsmanship. Highlighting the list is Ohio State women’s tennis player Sandy Niehaus. Click here for the full list of honorees.

ITA Regional Awards
Eight Big Ten standouts from a combined five conference institutions earned recognition by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. For more information, click here.

Atlantic Region
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Daria Panova - Maryland
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Kristina Hovsepyan - Maryland

Midwest Region
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Melissa Schaub - Ohio State
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Tyler Faulkner - Michigan State
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Miho Kowase - Ohio State
ITA Player to Watch: Erin Larner - Northwestern
ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship: Aslina Chua - Michigan State

Ohio Valley Region
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Paula Gutierrez - Indiana University

In the Polls
Two Big Ten schools, three singles players and three doubles duos were ranked among the top 25 in the final ITA rankings. Ohio State and Michigan checked in at No. 3 and No. 11, respectively. Ohio State’s Francesca Di Lorenzo led the conference in singles in the No. 1 spot, while Michigan’s Brienne Minor and Kate Fahey earned ninth and 18th, respectively. In doubles, Ohio State’s Francesca Di Lorenzo and Miho Kowase claimed the No. 3 spot, while Michigan’s Kate Fahey and Alex Najarian earned No. 14. Northwestern’s Maddie Lipp and Alex Chatt rounded out the doubles rankings at No. 23. To view the polls, click here