June 1, 2010
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech sophomore Irina Falconi has been named a finalist for the prestigious Honda Sports Award for Tennis, given annually to the top player in the country.
Falconi is one of four finalists along with Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia, Jana Juricova of California and Miami’s Laura Vallverdu. Falconi was named the 2010 ACC Player of the Year, the 2010 ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player and earned a spot on the 2010 All-ACC team. If selected, Falconi would become just the third Yellow Jacket to win the award, joining Kristi Miller and Amanda McDowell.
The winner after nationwide balloting will become a candidate for The Honda-Broderick Cup awarded annually to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. In addition to the honor of this selection, American Honda will donate $1,000 to the women’s athletic fund of each nominee’s university. The winner’s program will receive $5,000.
Falconi finished the season with a 40-3 record and registered a program-best .930 winning percentage. She became just the third Yellow Jacket to record 40 wins in a season, joining Miller and McDowell. 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 in 2007.
Over the course of the season, Falconi won 23 straight singles matches between Feb. 13 and May 29. 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 No. 1 North Carolina.
In the fall, Falconi won the 2009 Riviera/ITA All-American Championships singles title and was a finalist at the 2009 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
Jen Yee, a redshirt senior on the Georgia Tech Softball team, was named a finalist in the softball category earlier today.