June 22, 2010
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech sophomore Irina Falconi has been named the National College Player of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) and the Campbell Soup Company. She becomes only the second Yellow Jacket in school history to be recognized as the top player in women’s tennis, joining Amanda McDowell.
“I feel very honored to receive this award,” Falconi said. “It is definitely a great accomplishment. 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.”
“I am really proud of Irina for the year she had put together,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “To be the National Player of the Year you not only have to be good but consistently good. Irina was consistently good, if not great, this entire year. She follows a line of some great players we have had here at Georgia Tech and it has been fun to see her development.”
The All-American finished the season with a stellar 40-3 singles record and the best single-season winning percentage (.930) in program history. 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 McDowell and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year. During the dual-match season, Falconi had won 23 straight matches between Feb. 13 and May 29.
The nation’s No. 1 player 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 named the tournament’s MVP. After two seasons on the Flats, Falconi has won 70 singles matches, which already ranks her 10th in the Yellow Jacket record books in career victories.
In the fall, Falconi won the 2009 Riviera/ITA All-American Championships singles title and finished Runner-Up at the 2009 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. She 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.
Robert Farah of Southern California was named the men’s National Player 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.