Georgia Tech's Irina Falconi and Robert Farah of USC have been named the 2010 Campbell/ITA National College Players of the Year, the ITA announced recently. Tennessee's Natalie Pluskota and Caitlin Whoriskey and Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha of Duke are the ITA National Doubles Teams of the Year.
The Campbell/ITA National College Player of the Year awards are given to one male and one female singles player who has had the most outstanding year in college tennis. The collegiate players will again be recognized at the 2010 International Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on July 10 in Newport, R.I. during the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, July 5-11.
In addition to the ITA College Players of the Year awards, the Campbell Soup Company also serves as the title sponsor for the ITA College Tennis Rankings.
"Campbell Soup Company is pleased to play a role in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association," said Jerry S. Buckley, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, Campbell Soup Company. "College tennis players represent the best of college athletics and help promote tennis to young people across the country. Campbell has long been committed to encouraging young people to lead a healthy lifestyle, including getting an appropriate amount of exercise."
Falconi, a sophomore from Jupiter, Florida was ranked No. 1 in the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings throughout the entire spring season after winning the 2009 Riviera/ITA All-American Championships singles title and finishing Runner-Up at the 2009 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
After finishing the season with a 40-3 record and registering a program-best .930 winning percentage, she adds another piece o hardware to the numerous other awards she has received this year including the ACC Player of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP and is a finalist for the 2010 Honda Sports Award.
Falconi closed out the dual-match portion of the schedule with a 26-1 mark, which surpassed the previous record of 25 wins set by 2007 ITA National Player of the Year, Amanda McDowell. She led her team to the 2010 ACC Championship title with a 4-0 record, including a match-clinching victory in the championship match against then No. 1 North Carolina and was also a key member of the member of the championship winning U.S. team at the Master'U BNP Paribas international collegiate team championships.
"I feel very honored to receive this award. It is definitely a great accomplishment," said Falconi. "There are a lot of players worthy but knowing I received it makes me feel very confident on what I achieved this year and I look forward to what the future holds."
Farah, a senior from Cali, Columbia, has been USC's team captain the past three seasons, that includes back-to-back NCAA team titles. He is the only player in the history of the Pac-10 to win Player of the Year twice and Doubles Player of the Year three times. He is an NCAA Champion in doubles (2008) and helped clinch his team's most recent title with a straight set victory over top-ranked John-Patrick Smith of Tennessee. The ITA Senior Player of the Year was on a 19-match singles win streak before retiring due to injury against top-seeded Henrique Cunha of Duke in the NCAA Quarterfinal Singles. Farah completed his senior season at USC with a 38-6 overall singles record, to go along with a career singles record of 125-35.
"It is very exiting for me to have had such a wonderful senior year and finish the year as the No. 1 collegiate player," said Farah. "The ITA and the NCAA have done so much for me. The last four years playing college tennis were the best years of my life."About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which was founded in 1956 and is based in Skillman, N.J., administers numerous regional and national championships, the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit, presented by the USTA, and the ITA Rankings for men's and women's tennis at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA web site is www.itatennis.com.About Campbell Soup Company
Campbell Soup Company is a global manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals, including soup, baked snacks, and healthy beverages. Founded in 1869, the company has a portfolio of market-leading brands, including "Campbell's," "Pepperidge Farm," "Arnott's," and "V8." For more information on the company, visit Campbell's website at www.CampbellSoup.com