BEARS GRAB FIVE SPOTS ON THE SLC WOMEN’S TENNIS ALL-CONFERENCE LIST
FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference announced Wednesday morning the list for the All-Conference team in women’s tennis. The Bears had numerous competitors within that list as they staked claim to two spots on the doubles list and three on the singles list. Those five honorees marked the most that UCA has ever had appear on the All-Conference list as the previous record stood at three.
Headling, the group, is No. 3 junior Yada Vasupongchai and the No. 1 duo of sophomore Chunxi Xin and Fuka Nonoyama as they both took first-team honors for their respected positions. Following Vasupongchai on the singles list is No. 2 Nonoyama on the second team and No. 6 freshman Sumomo Hamanga on the third team. On that doubles list, UCA was also represented by the freshmen team of Maja Gledic and Jaeun Lee as they made the second team at the No. 3 position.
First Team- No. 3 Yada Vasupongchai (SLC 9-0)
The junior was a machine when it came to conference play, as she boasted a perfect record throughout the season. Not only did Vasupongchai go undefeated in conference play, but she also only played in one three-set conference match. In that lone match against New Orleans, she came back after dropping the second set and won the third convincingly with a 6-3 victory. Vasupongchai, during this incredible span, claimed one conference player of the week award (January 26). After the last matchup on Saturday, she finished out her season 25-7 overall.
Quote from head coach Casey Wharton about Vasupongchai:
“I am really proud of Yada; she’s had the game to be that level week in and week out, and this year, she was able to put it all together and stay healthy. The year before and the year before that, was just fighting injuries and this year she got to play the whole season and put it all together.”
Second Team- No. 2 Fuka Nonoyama (SLC 8-2)
The sophomore has been absolutely dominant this season as she bested some of the best the conference has to offer. Not only did she showcase her ability in conference play, but she did the same in her extra matches against various opponents. One of her biggest feats of the season was claiming the constellation championship at the ITA Central Regional. Nonoyama ran through Missouri State, Arkansas, and TCU players on her way to claiming the third-place trophy at the event. That award showcases how incredibly good the two-time conference player of the week winner (February 23 & April 6) has been as she finished out the season 27-9 overall.
Quote from the coach about Nonoyama:
“Fuka has been solid ever since she got here. She has always been an all-around solid player, singles and doubles, and her record shows that. This year she solidified that; people can have one great year, but to be considered a great college player, it’s something you do consecutive years. To me I was really proud of Fuka for continuing a trend she built since she has been here. She works hard and she plays hard and is smart and adaptable.”
Third Team- No. 6 Sumomo Hamanaga (SLC 6-2)
The lone true freshman of the bunch continues to improve daily and has been impressive ever since she hit conference play. Hamanaga lost two of the first three matches but improved drastically as she won the next six at the No. 6 spot. Her biggest match came against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi when she came in clutch. The score was tied 3-3, and Hamanaga was down in the first set, but she eventually came back and won the next two sets, 7-5. Hamanaga finished out the season 19-12 for the Bears.
Quote from the coach about Hamanaga:
“Sumomo is a freshman, and we knew she was going to be good and going to help us out. I wasn’t sure what that would look like in results, but she seems to be very solid in big moments, especially at the Corpus Christi match when she came through to give us the win. It was a big moment in a big match for a freshman and I think that is a reflection of the caliber of player she is.”
First Team- No. 1 Chunxi Xin/Fuka Nonoyama (SLC 9-0)
The dynamic duo dominated all season and made easy work of everyone they played. The No. 1 doubles team finished out the season 21-5 and ended their season on a ten-match winning streak. In those ten matches, they won one matchup against USF and claimed an undefeated SLC season.
Quote from the coach about Xin and Nonoyama:
“We as a team like to focus on doubles, so I am proud of CC (Chunxi) and Fuka for going out there and having a flawless record. I think they are very good and probably underacknowledged as a team for how good they are. They make each other’s level in matches go up, so I am proud of them.”
Second Team- No. 3 Maja Gledic/Jaeun Lee (SLC 6-1)
The No. 3 duo finished out all the matches they needed to as the No. 1 team would always provide an opportunity to claim the match. While Gledic and Lee were not always the combo used in SLC matches, when they got the chance, they finished what they needed to. Overall the pairing was 7-4 on the season and claimed the Bears six doubles points.
Quote from the coach about Gledic and Lee:
“Maja and Jaeun, they are a new team that we hadn’t gotten to see what they can do until this year, but I was really proud of their ability to come up with a game plan and stick with it. At the No. 3, I was really excited to see their chemistry grow and the confidence over the middle grow, and just their consistency raise.”
“I thought this was a great year overall, I thought everyone got better in the ways they wanted to; some were with energy, some were tactical, but everyone got better. Overall I think a lot of the players on our team could have won a lot of awards, so I take the ones that we got and celebrate them as a team, and with these awards I am excited to see what we can do this weekend.”
2021 All-Southland Conference Women’s Tennis Teams and Individual Awards
Player of the Year: Sahaja Yamalapalli, Sam Houston
Freshman of the Year: Emma Aucagne, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Newcomer of the Year: Lina Hohnhold, New Orleans
Coach of the Year: Burzis Kanga, New Orleans
No. 1 Sahaja Yamalapalli, Sam Houston
No. 2 Lina Hohnhold, New Orleans
No. 3 Yada Vasupongchai, Central Arkansas
No. 4 Emma Aucagne, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 5 Emilija Dancetovic, Northwestern State
No. 6 Victoire Delattre, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 1 Ank Vullings, New Orleans
No. 2 Fuka Nonoyama, Central Arkansas
No. 3 Emma Honore, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 4 Constandena Nicolaou, Sam Houston
No. 5 Leopoldine Boisseau, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 6 Lea Alguacil, New Orleans
No. 1 Putri Insani, Southeastern Louisiana
No. 2 Karla De La Luz Montalvo, Sam Houston
No. 3 Isidora Zivkovic, Sam Houston
No. 4 Lucy Furness, Stephen F. Austin
No. 5 Salma Abdelrahim, New Orleans
No. 6 Sumomo Hamanaga, Central Arkansas
No. 1 Chunxi Xin/Fuka Nonoyama, Central Arkansas
No. 2 Ank Vullings/Lea Alguacil, New Orleans
No. 3 Karla De La Luz Montalvo/Petra Kaszas, Sam Houston
No. 1 Mariya Shumeika/Camille Townsend, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 2 Annie Walker/Paula Cerda, Stephen F. Austin
No. 3 Maja Gledic/Jaeun Lee, Central Arkansas
No. 1 Nini Memishishi/Illeana Mocciola, Abilene Christian
No. 2 Emma Aucagne/Emma Honore, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 3 Emilija Dancetovic/Dorota Szczygielska, Northwestern State