May 21, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia freshman Julia Elbaba (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) has been named the ITA Women’s Tennis National Rookie of the Year, announced Tuesday (May 21) at the NCAA Championships at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Illinois.
“Our entire program is very happy for Julia and proud of her accomplishments culminating in being named the ITA National Rookie of the Year,” Virginia head coach Mark Guilbeau said. “Julia is very deserving. She has played with incredible energy and focus throughout this season. Her tennis level speaks for itself. A great part of this award is that Julia shares it with her teammates. The entire group has done a great job to work together this year and make this and many other great accomplishments possible. We are very excited about what lies ahead for Julia and her team.”
Elbaba, who earned All-ACC and ACC Freshman of the Year honors, helped Virginia to its third consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 berth and fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. She is the first UVa women’s tennis player to earn the prestigious national rookie award. Elbaba, who is ranked No. 12 nationally, leads the Cavaliers with a 34-11 overall singles record and 18-9 mark in dual action. Elbaba’s 34 victories established a new UVa record for first-year players and are second on the Cavalier single-season wins list. She advanced to the finals of the ITA All-American in October and achieved a school-best No. 4 singles ranking on Jan. 3. Elbaba also racked up 29 doubles wins during her freshman campaign.
“I’m very honored to recognized for this award,” Elbaba said. “I’m thankful to have had support from my coaches and teammates throughout the season. It’s a great honor considering how tough the 2012 recruiting class was. I’m going to take this as a confidence booster for my upcoming matches.”
Elbaba is the first Virginia women’s seeded player in school history in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championship, which starts Wednesday (May 22) in Urbana, Ill. Elbaba, seeded No. 9-16, will take on Tennessee’s Brynn Boren in the round of 64 on Wednesday, May 22 at 12 p.m. ET. Elbaba defeated No. 24 Boren, 6-3, 7-5, earlier this season.
Fans can follow Elbaba and the UVa doubles tandem Stephanie Nauta (Galveston, Texas) and Li Xi (Kunming, China) at the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships online at VirginiaSports.com and via Twitter at @NCAATennis2013 and #NCAATennis.