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April 22, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Georgia Tech sophomore Irina Falconi has been named the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Year and heads up the All-ACC Team, as announced today by commissioner John D. Swofford.
The ACC’s 12 head coaches voted Falconi the ACC Player of the Year, while Florida State’s Francesca Segarelli was the choice as ACC Freshman of the Year. North Carolina’s Brian Kalbas received the nod as the conference Coach of the Year.
Falconi is one of 11 repeat selections to the All-ACC team, which includes two four-time honorees in Miami senior Laura Vallverdu and North Carolina senior Katrina Tsang. Clemson, Duke and Miami led all schools with three selections apiece to the 18-member squad.
Falconi, a native of Jupiter, Fla., and a five-time ACC Player of the Week selection this year, closed the regular season on a 16-match winning streak and has recorded a dual singles record of 22-1. Overall in singles, Falconi is 33-2 and has registered a .943 winning percentage, She stands 10-0 in singles play against ACC opponents and has held the No. 1 spot in the Campbell’s/ITA national rankings throughout the season.
Segarelli, ranked No. 101 nationally, made an immediate impact as a first-year player in helping Florida State achieve a top-15 national ranking and a fifth-place ACC finish. The Rome, Italy, native enters the ACC Championships with 10 dual singles wins and a combined nine singles and doubles wins against conference opposition.
Segarelli has competed at No. 2 and No. 3 singles in addition to teaming with fellow All-ACC selection Lauren McCreless on the Seminoles’ No. 1 doubles team.
Under Kalbas’ guidance, North Carolina enters the ACC Championship as the nation’s top-ranked team. The Tar Heels (24-3 overall) posted an 11-0 record in conference play and earned the program’s first ACC regular-season title since 1987. This year’s No. 1 national ranking marked another first for the Tar Heels.
The unbeaten regular season record in the ACC was yet another first for UNC, and its 11 wins in ACC play eclipsed the previous school record of nine. The Tar Heels recorded their first 20-win season since going 23-9 in 2007.
The 2010 ACC Women’s Tennis Championships begins today at Cary (N.C.) Tennis Park with four first-round matches. Play continues through the weekend, concluding with Sunday’s 11 a.m. title match.
2010 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Tennis Team
Josipa Bek, Sophomore, Clemson*
Ina Hadziselimovic, Senior, Clemson
Keri Wong, Sophomore, Clemson
Ella Nze, Junior, Duke**
Elizabeth Plotkin, Senior, Duke
Reka Zsilinszka, Junior, Duke**
Lauren McCreless, Senior, Florida State**
Katie Rybakova, Junior, Florida State**
Irina Falconi, Sophomore, Georgia Tech*
Anna Bartenstein, Sophomore, Miami
Bianca Eichkorn, Junior, Miami*
Laura Vallverdu, Senior, Miami***
Sanaz Marand, Senior, North Carolina**
Katrina Tsang, Senior, North Carolina***
Sandhya Nagaraj, Sophomore, NC State
Lindsey Hardenbergh, Sophomore, Virginia
Sasha Kulikova, Senior, Wake Forest**
Martina Pavelec, Sophomore, Wake Forest
Player of the Year – Irina Falconi, Georgia Tech
Freshman of the Year – Francesca Segarelli, Florida State
Coach of the Year – Brian Kalbas, North Carolina
* - Repeat All-ACC Selection
** - Three-time honoree
*** - Four-time honoree