CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced today (June 6) the recipients of the 2022 Division I Women’s Regional Awards. Every year the ITA recognizes coaches and players for their excellence on the court and in their communities throughout the season.
Virginia head coach Sara O’Leary was named the Wilson ITA Coach of the Year for the Atlantic Region while associate head coach Gina Suarez-Malaguti was voted the region’s top assistant coach. Freshman Elaine Chervinsky was named the ITA Atlantic Region Rookie of the Year and Sofia Munera the ITA Atlantic Region Most Improved Senior.
Chervinsky had a strong rookie campaign, going 18-15 in singles, playing on the top-three courts most of the spring, and going 22-9 in doubles. She started the year finishing as the runner-up in singles at the ITA Atlantic Regional, earning an invitation to compete at the ITA Fall National Championships, and finished by earning a spot in the NCAA Singles Championship. She joins teammates Amber O’Dell (2019), Natasha Subhash (2020) and Emma Navarro (2021) on the list of former honorees.
Munera came into UVA playing at No. 5 singles and left as a fixture on the No. 3 and 4 courts. Her biggest win this year was the clinching match in UVA’s 4-3 victory against No. 3 Georgia in the opening round of ITA Indoors, topping No. 119 Morgan Coppoc 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 on court four. She has been a strong presence on and off the court, growing into a confident leader and was named the team’s Cindy Brinker-Simmons Most Improved Player Award, as announced at the team banquet in late April. She has a 13-12 record this year in singles, which includes a 7-4 record at No. 3. She has a 60-40 career record in singles and an 83-38 mark in doubles. She is the third UVA student-athlete to earn this regional honor, joining Emily Fraser (2012) and Meghan Kelley (2019).
O’Leary and Suarez-Malaguti led the team to a No. 4 national ranking this year, the team’s highest ranking since 2014, with the team advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals and the finals of the ACC Championship for the third time in program history.
This is O’Leary’s first time earning All-Region honors as a head coach. She was the Carolina Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010 and the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011 while serving on North Carolina’s staff. This is the fifth time A UVA head coach has earned the honor.
This is Suarez-Malaguti’s third time being named the ITA Atlantic Region’s Assistant Coach of the year, having also earned the accolade in 2019 and 2021. This is the seventh time a UVA assistant has earned the honor.
The national award winners will be announced next Monday, June 13, selected from the pool of 12 regional winners for each honor.
Atlantic Regional Award Winners
- Wilson ITA Coach of the Year: Sara O’Leary, University of Virginia
- ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Gina Suarez-Malaguti, University of Virginia
- Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship: Meghana Komarraju, Navy
- ITA Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award: Kylie Moulin, James Madison University
- ITA Rookie of the Year: Elaine Chervinsky, University of Virginia
- ITA Most Improved Senior: Sofia Munera, University of Virginia
- ITA Senior Player of the Year: Paola Exposito Diaz-Delgado, Virginia Commonwealth University
- ITA Community Service Award: Duquesne University