Women Win Tennis Crown
Led by senior Daiana Negreanu, above, the women’s tennis team dominated the Southland Conference in 2011, going undefeated during the regular season and winning the tournament title. The Mavericks beat Northwestern State in the championship match to capture their sixth SLC crown and advance to the NCAA Regional. “I have no words to describe how proud I feel for our girls,” head coach Diego Benitez says. “They kept fighting and never looked back.” Negreanu was named Player of the Year and first-team all-conference at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles with teammate Linda Aqvist, the SLC Freshman of the Year. Aqvist was second-team all-conference at No. 2 singles. Junior Natalia Mayuk was named Newcomer of the Year and received first-team all-conference honors at No. 4 singles. Joining Negreanu and Mayuk on the first team were junior Maria Martinez-Romero and freshman Giada D’ortona. Martinez-Romero went 11–0 at No. 3 singles, and D’ortona was 9–0 at No. 6 singles. Benitez was named the SLC Coach of the Year for the second time after leading UT Arlington to its second undefeated season (11–0) in the last three years. He won the award in 2009 after an 11–0 campaign and leads the conference with a 32–1 mark over the past three seasons. For the second time in school history, UT Arlington swept the individual awards for player, freshman, newcomer, and coach. The Mavericks lost in the first round of the 64-team NCAA Championships to finish 20–5 overall.