Xavier Nabs Big Atlantic 10 Women's Tennis Honors
April 30, 2013
CINCINNATI - Xavier's Alex Brinker was named the Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding Rookie Performer of the Year and Katie Pleiman earned her third first team selection and second all-academic team selection. Head coach Eric Toth was named the coach of the year and Daniella Patton repeated as second team selection.
Brinker's freshman campaign included a 24-2 singles record and a 23-match winning streak. The Granger, Ind., native lost only eight sets all spring and her two losses came against nationally-ranked opponents.
Brinker went 3-1 in the A-10 tournament including a three-set showdown that decided Xavier's quarterfinal match against Fordham. She won four Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors and is the second to earn top rookie honors (Pleiman, 2010).
"Alexandra is very deserving of this recognition," Toth said. "Anyone that can win 23 singles matches consecutively at this level has had one special year. She excelled both within the A-10 and also outside of the conference. Xavier is lucky to have Alexandra in our program and I look forward to seeing what she can do over the course of her career here. "
Pleiman earned a spot on the first team for the fourth-straight season after posting a 17-5 singles record. The senior from Dayton, Ohio spent all spring at the No. 1 position for the Musketeers. Pleiman went 6-2 against conference opponents and earned an A-10 Performer of the Week award in February. She went 2-0 and was leading her set in the A-10 championship match.
Her play on the court was only exceeded by her performance in the classroom. Pleiman is set to graduate this May with a degree in marketing. She carried a 3.863 GPA heading into this semester.
Patton repeats as a second team selection after posting 15-8 singles record in dual matches and 8-1 mark against foes in the conference. The sophomore split time at the three and four positions this year and finished the season on a six-match winning streak.
"I am equally pleased that Katie and Daniella secured spots on this year's All-Conference teams and Katie received All-Academic recognition," Toth said. "Katie has been the rock of our program for four years. She is among the very best of the best to ever play at Xavier. Our program will miss Katie very much and we appreciate all she has done during her time here.
"Daniella simply goes about her business the way you want all of your student-athletes to. She is super coachable, a fierce competitor, and a great overall person. Daniella's value to our program will no doubt grow in her last two years at Xavier. I am super proud of the recognition Alexandra, Katie, and Daniella have earned. It is well deserved."
In his sixth year as head coach for both the women's and men's tennis programs at Xavier, Toth led the Musketeers to a 20-6 overall record, including an 10-1 mark against conference opponents and a second-place finish in the Atlantic 10 Championship.
As a two seed in the Championship, XU advanced to its first final since 2008, eventually falling to a nationally-ranked VCU team. This is the first women's tennis Coach of the Year honor for Toth, but he has previously received three-consecutive awards for his efforts with the men's program (2008, 2009, 2010).
"I am honored to be recognized by my peers for this award," Toth said. "This conference is loaded with quality coaches that do outstanding jobs with their programs. Leaving the A-10 is bittersweet for me, as it has been a great conference for our team to compete in over the years. I will miss the friendships I have made over the 16 years I've been in this conference.
"It's the 11 girls I've been honored to coach this year and my assistant coach Doug Matthews I am indebted to the most. This group is the only reason I am receiving this recognition. We had a great year on and off the court. A goal for this year's team was to go deep in the A-10 Tournament and making the final was special and was a total team effort."