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    Northwestern Rakes in ITA Regional Honors

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Sam Shropshire was one of the nation's top freshmen this season.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Sam Shropshire was one of the nation's top freshmen this season.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    May 13, 2014

    EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern's men's and women's tennis programs earned numerous honors when the ITA Division I Regional Award Winners were announced Tuesday.

    Arvid Swan of the Wildcats' men's program was recognized as the Midwest Region Coach of the Year. In his seventh season at the helm in Evanston, Swan led NU to a 21-11 dual match record and the team's third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. The 21 wins came a year after Northwestern notched 22 victories, marking the second and third winningest seasons in school history. This year's team featured just one senior -- Raleigh Smith -- whom Swan coached to first-team All-Big Ten accolades for the second consecutive season.

    Swan also coached Sam Shropshire to first-team All-Big Ten recognition and Shropshire was honored by the ITA as its Midwest Region Rookie Player of the Year. Shropshire, who also had been bestowed Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, posted a stellar 20-3 dual match record with a perfect 10-0 record during the conference season. He became the first NU player to go undefeated in league play since freshman Jeff Giraldo went 9-0 in 1992.

    Northwestern's women's team had a trio of regional recipients.

    Veronica Corning earned the Midwest Region Most Improved Senior of the Year award. In her third season at NU after transferring from Boston College, Corning played the top spot in the Wildcats' singles lineup while also teaming with Alicia Barnett at No. 1 doubles. Currently ranked No. 43 in singles and No. 29 in doubles, Corning was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten first team and has been referred to by head coach Claire Pollard as the most improved player she has ever coached in her 16 seasons at Northwestern.

     

     

    Fellow senior Belinda Niu picked up Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award. The president of Northwestern's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Niu is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. On the court, she notched her 100th career singles win against Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA tournament and her comeback victory against Michigan in the decisive match gave Northwestern its 15th Big Ten tournament title in the last 16 years.

    Jackie Holden was named the Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year. In her sixth season coaching the Wildcats alongside Pollard, Holden helped to quickly develop NU's young roster which features four freshmen among its nine team members. The squad posted a 20-7 dual match record, including a 10-1 mark in Big Ten play and won yet another conference tournament title. Northwestern also earned the No. 15 national seed for the NCAA tournament.

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