BOULDER – The University of Colorado tennis team recognized three outstanding student-athletes with awards at the team’s annual banquet on Wednesday night.
Sophomore Julyette Steur was named the team’s overall most improved player and most improved in fitness. Playing in the No. 1 singles position, Steur tied a team-high 2012-13 win count of 16, including 11 in spring play, easily topping her mark of nine (seven in the spring) last season. All but three of her victories this year were in straight sets.
Though Steur was one of the first Buffs to earn a victory over a Pac-12 opponent, defeating No. 104 McCall Jones of UCLA in the Buffaloes’ first year in the conference, she stepped up even more in her second season, taking down three straight Pac-12 opponents in singles play. These victories included wins over No. 102 Nicole Long of Oregon and Washington State’s second all-time leading winner, Liudmila Vasilieva.
Steur nearly tripled her doubles win total from last season (five), earning nine victories with Erin Sanders in the No. 1 position in dual play, and 14 total during the season.
Junior Winde Janssens was named the team’s clutch player and most valuable player. Janssens led the Buffs with 16 total wins, including 13 in the spring and four in conference play. She also got her first taste of defeating ranked opponents, knocking off two top players, No. 111 Desirae Krawczyk of Arizona State and No. 86 Pamela Montez of UCLA. Janssens proved her crunch-time capabilities, earning a career-best 6-5 record in three-setters, coming from behind in three of those victories.
Janssens also began the doubles spring season with an 8-0 start with partner Carla Manzi Tenorio, earning a team-best 11 wins as a pair. The dynamic duo clinched a team-high four doubles matches to help the Buffs to victories.
Senior Erin Sanders completed her career as a Buff with the Pac-12 clutch player award. Sanders clinched both of the team’s conference victories, helping the Buffs break a nearly two-year long regular season conference losing streak. Her first conference win came in an intense three-setter against Arizona’s Akilah James. Sanders claimed the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to help the Buffs to the 4-2 victory against the Wildcats, marking Colorado’s first win in the Pac-12. Less than a month later, Sanders toppled Oregon’s Pascale Neubert 6-3, 6-3. The victory helped the Buffs to a 5-2 win over the No. 59 Ducks, marking the highest ranked team CU had defeated since No. 46 New Mexico in 2009, leading the Buffs to a spot in the following week’s ITA College Tennis Rankings for the first time since 2010.
The award for academic most valuable player will be confirmed at the end of the spring semester.
The Buffs ended the season with a 7-14 overall, 2-8 Pac-12 record. The team matched its win total from last season, but earned two conference victories, took down two ranked teams and spent two matches ranked No. 75 in the nation.