May 8, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – After claiming its eighth consecutive Patriot League Women’s Tennis Championship, Army was the big winner again when the All-Patriot League team and major awards were announced Tuesday.
The Black Knights swept the major awards, with sophomore Jamila Paul being named Player of the Year, freshman Natalie Allen earning Rookie of the Year honors and Paul Peck capturing the Coach of the Year nod.
The All-League team and major awards are voted on by the League’s seven head coaches, who cannot cast a ballot for themselves or their own student-athletes.
Army placed a League-best five student-athletes on the All-League squad, with three making the first team.
Paul combined for a 37-6 record this season, including a 20-3 mark at doubles. She competed in the second flight in both competitions, going 6-0 against League foes in singles action and 6-0 in doubles. Paul earned first-team All-League honors for the second straight season and is one year removed from being named Rookie of the Year as a freshman.
Allen shared the John “Pat” Rooney Award as the Patriot League Tournament’s MVP in helping Army capturing its eighth consecutive League crown. She compiled a singles mark of 21-3 playing at both Nos. 3 and 4 singles, including a perfect 7-0 ledger against League opponents at the third flight. Allen is the third straight student-athlete from Army named Rookie of the Year and eighth overall since the award was created in 2002. Allen also garnered second-team All-League laurels.
Peck extended his League record with his 12th Coach of the Year award. Army won three matches at the Patriot League Tournament to improve to 22-6 on the season after logging a 5-0 mark against League opponents in the regular season. Peck has guided Army to 12 NCAA Tournament appearances in 18 seasons at West Point.
Paul was joined by teammates Erin Colton and Margaret Iliev on the first team. Colton, a junior and the 2010 Rookie of the Year, was impressive at No. 2 doubles on the season with a 19-3 mark. At No. 1 singles, she went 6-0 against Patriot League opponents and was perfect in five doubles matches against League foes. Colton is now a three-time member of the All-League first team. Iliev, a sophomore, was 17-1 at No. 3 doubles and went 12-10 overall at singles, playing at both the Nos. 3 and 4 flights.
Accompanying Allen on the second team from Army was sophomore Della Taylor, who went 13-7 on the season in singles play at the Nos. 4 and 5 flights. She was 6-0 against League foes in singles matches and 6-1 at No. 1 doubles versus League opposition.
Navy, which advanced to the Patriot League championship match for the second consecutive season, boasted four All-League selections spread out evenly across the two teams. Junior Emani Decquir and sophomore Darien Sears were first-team honorees, while junior Stefanie Ton and sophomore Erin Snook made the second team. Decquir made her third career appearance on the first team after picking up a 19-10 overall record and a 4-0 mark against League opponents in the regular season and 1-1 at the tournament. Sears was 12-8 in dual matches at the No. 1 singles flight, and picked up three regular-season victories against League foes. Ton made the second team for the second straight year, going 13-5 in dual matches, with all of those contests but one at No. 3 singles. She picked up a 3-1 regular-season mark in League matches. Snook went 19-2 in dual singles matches for the season, including a 17-1 ledger at No. 4. Ton and Decquir teamed up to go 11-11 at No. 1 doubles for the Mids this season.
Bucknell senior Dumitrita Iepuras was named to the first team for the first time in her career after making two second-team appearances. The 2009 Rookie of the Year, Iepuras played primarily at No. 1 singles and finished the season with an 11-14 mark. She went 3-1 in League matches during the regular season, all at the top flight, picking up wins against Colgate, Lafayette and Navy.
Colgate and Lehigh rounded out the All-League squad with one selection each on the second team. Jenai Bilmoria picked up her first career All-League honor after playing the season at the top singles and doubles flights for the Mountain Hawks. Petrini, also a sophomore, competed at No. 1 singles and doubles all season for the Raiders. She went to three set matches against fellow All-Leaguers Colton, Iepuras and Sears, while picking up big non-League victories against the No. 1 players for Seton Hall and Connecticut. She also logged a 4-3 mark against League doubles squads while teaming with Stephanie Brown.
2012 Patriot League champion Army continues its season when the Black Knights visit eighth-seeded Alabama Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The match is scheduled for 5 p.m.
2012 Patriot League Women’s Tennis Awards
Player of the Year – Jamila Paul, Army, So.
Rookie of the Year – Natalie Allen, Army, Fr.
Coach of the Year – Paul Peck, Army
First Team All-Patriot League
Dumitrita Iepuras, Bucknell, Sr.
Erin Colton, Army, Jr.
Emani Decquir, Navy, Jr.
Margaret Iliev, Army, So.
Jamila Paul, Army, So.
Darien Sears, Navy, So.
Second Team All-Patriot League
Stefanie Ton, Navy, Jr.
Jenai Bilmoria, Lehigh, So.
Alex Petrini, Colgate, So.
Erin Snook, Navy, So.
Della Taylor, Army, So.
Natalie Allen, Army, Fr.