ZHELTOVA NAMED BIG SKY MVP FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR, FIVE OTHER HORNETS NAMED ALL-BIG SKY
OGDEN, Utah – Sacramento State sophomore Katrina Zheltova was named the Big Sky Conference Most Valuable Player for the second straight year, joining five other Hornets who were named to the women’s tennis all-conference team.
Zheltova and junior Anastassia Lyssenko were named to the all-Big Sky first team for the second straight year, while junior Karina Jarlkaganova earned second team honors. Three Hornets, comprised of juniors Joyce Martinez Gutierrez and Luba Schifris as well as sophomore Aileen Tsan, earned honorable mention honors.
A native of Minsk, Belarus, Zheltova went 13-5 in dual matches at the No. 1 singles position, helping Sacramento State earn its seventh-consecutive Big Sky title. Zheltova, who went 2-0 in Big Sky regular season play, is currently ranked No. 34 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, her highest career ranking. She upset 2006 NCAA singles champion Susie Babos of California in the Hornets final dual match before the Big Sky Championships, and beat four nationally ranked players during the year, including two players ranked in the top 20. She earned Big Sky Player of the Week honors four times during the season, giving her seven awards in her two-year career.
Lyssenko finished the season as the Hornets No. 2 singles competitor posting a 16-9 dual record on the season, while going 5-3 in eight matches at the No. 2 spot in the lineup. A native of Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Lyssenko played primarily at No. 3 singles to start the season, compiling a 10-6 record at the position. Lyssenko posted a 13-4 record with her doubles partner, Tsan, at the No. 3 position. She earned Big Sky Player of the Week honors on April 1, her first career honor.
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Jarlkaganova posted a 20-5 dual match record playing four different positions in the Hornet lineup. She went 6-1 in Big Sky play, while collecting an 8-1 mark playing No. 4 singles and a 10-3 record at No. 5 singles on the season. Jarlkaganova was 14-8 in doubles play, including a 12-6 mark with Schifris at the No. 2 position. On March 4, she earned Big Sky Player of the Week for the first time in her career.
Martinez Gutierrez posted a 16-8 dual record, competing primarily at the No. 5 and No. 6 singles positions. The native of Azitapan, Mexico , constructed an 8-2 overall record at No. 5 singles, including a perfect 8-0 mark in her final eight matches at the position. She went 6-1 in Big Sky Conference play and collected two match victories at No. 5 singles during the Big Sky Championships. She earned honorable mention honors for the second consecutive season.
In her third season in the Green and Gold, Schifris posted a 15-8 overall record, splitting time between the No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 positions. The native of Blieskastel, Germany, went 7-1 during Big Sky competition, with her only loss occurring at No. 2 singles. The honor marked the third straight year Schifris has been named all-Big Sky, as she was a first team selection in both her freshman and sophomore campaigns.
Tsan was the only Hornet to post a perfect 8-0 record in Big Sky play, all at the No. 6 position. A native of Sarawak, Malaysia, Tsan went 11-4 overall in singles play, including a 9-1 mark at No. 6, while posting a 7-1 mark in Big Sky play and a 13-4 overall mark at No. 3 doubles with her doubles partner Lyssenko.
The Hornets travel to Fresno, Calif., to compete in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regionals, taking on Arizona State on Friday, May 9 at 10 a.m.