Immediate Release: April 28, 2005
Contact: David O'Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Altinay named America East Conference Women's Tennis Player of the Year, Stevens named Coach of the Year
VESTAL, N.Y.--Sophomore Zeynep Altinay (Antalya, Turkey) has been named the America East Conference Women's Tennis Player of the Year while second-year coach Mike Stevens was named the America East Conference Coach of the Year for the first time in his career. Four other Binghamton players also earned all-conference honors.
Altinay is currently 28-4 at No. 1 singles heading into this weekend's America East Conference Championships. She has already broken the school record for wins in a season (25, by Lisa Denerstien in 1991-92) and has been named the America East Conference Player of the Week three times this season. Altinay has won her last 14 matches. She is the first athlete from Binghamton to be named the America East Conference Women's Tennis Player of the Year.
"This is a great honor for Zeynep," head coach Mike Stevens said. "She has been a big reason why we have improved so much this season. She has put in a lot of work to get better this year."
Stevens, meanwhile, has engineered a dramatic turnaround by the Bearcats this season. One year after finishing 5-11, Binghamton is currently 14-5 overall. He is the second Binghamton coach in three years to be named the America East Conference Coach of the Year (Jamie Campbell was the other in 2002-03).
"This is a team award," Stevens said. "It's been great to work with this team and watch them improve so much. I am honored by this award."
Altinay was one of three Binghamton players to earn first-team all-conference honors at their respective flights. Sophomore Lya Kushnirovich (Brooklyn, N.Y.) got the nod at No. 3 singles while freshman Jenn Naegeli (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) was the top choice at No. 4 singles. Sophomore Jelena Koprivica (Belgrade, Serbia) was named second-team all-conference at No. 2 singles while freshman Alyssa Freeman (Atlantic Beach, N.Y.) was second team at No. 5 singles.
Koprivica and Naegeli were named first-team all-conference at No. 1 doubles while Altinay and Freeman were second team at No. 2 doubles.
Last season, Altinay and Kushnirovich were also named all-conference.
Binghamton is the No. 2 seed heading into the America East Conference Championships. The Bearcats open up against No. 7 Hartford at 10 a.m. on Friday at the Connecticut Tennis Center.
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