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Feb. 16, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Georgia Tech’s Irina Falconi and North Carolina’s Sanaz Marand have been named Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Tennis Co-Players of the Week after standout performances in last weekend’s ITA National Indoor Championships, at Madison, Wisc.
Tech’s Falconi defeated the nation’s second-ranked player and won two straight-set matches during a grueling stretch that saw her play three of the nation’s top players in a span of less than 48 hours. The sophomore from Jupiter, Fla., who is ranked No. 1 in the nation, opened the ITA National Team Indoor Championships by defeating No. 2 Jana Juricova of California, 7-6, 7-5 in the opening round match.
Less than 14 hours later, she was up against No. 6 Caitlin Whorskey of Tennessee. Falconi went to three sets with Whorskey before eventually falling 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. On Sunday, Falconi responded with a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Wisconsin’s No. 1 player, Angela Chupa. The Women’s Tennis Player of the Week honor is the second of the season for Falconi, who was also honored on Feb. 2.
Marand helped lead North Carolina to the finals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships as the Tar Heels scored a trio of upsets over No. 10 Georgia, No. 5 Baylor and No. 1 Duke. Marand scored a pair of match-clinching singles victories, topping No. 70 Csilla Borsanyi of Baylor, 6-1, 6-4, and No. 91 Ellah Nze of Duke, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.
Marand, a native of Katy, Texas, also paired with Sophie Grabinski for a pair of doubles wins at the top position, including an 8-2 win over No. 13 Csilla Borsanyi and Lenka Broosova of Baylor and an 8-6 win over Nze and Amanda Granson of Duke. The win over Duke was the first in program history over a top-ranked opponent and put the Tar Heels in the finals of the National Team Indoors for the first time.
Duke’s Granson was named the recipient of the ITA Sportsmanship Award during the National Indoor Championships. A native of Hilton Head, S.C., Granson was chosen for the annual award by the 16 participating coaches for displaying outstanding sportsmanship and exemplifying the spirit of college tennis during the course of the Team Indoor Championships, as well as throughout her career.
Granson, who played a major role in Duke’s 2009 NCAA title run, is the first Blue Devil to win the award.