BOULDER – The University of Colorado women’s tennis team put the finishing touches on the 2013-14 season with its end of the year banquet at the Byron R. White Stadium Club, Sunday evening.
The Buffaloes won eight matches this spring season and were nationally ranked among the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Top-75 poll for six consecutive weeks. They were ranked as high as No. 54 at the end of February and the beginning of March.
Playing in perhaps the toughest conference in the nation, CU faced 12 nationally ranked opponents, including a two-week stretch that saw the Buffaloes play four Pac-12 Conference teams that were ranked at No. 1, No. 4, No. 10 and No. 16. Of the eight opponents on the schedule that made the NCAA Tournament, the Buffaloes defeated two of them (Denver & Wichita State).
Among the awards handed out at the Sunday banquet included, most improved player (Alex Aiello); clutch player (Nuria Ormeño Ruiz); co-most valuable players (Carla Manzi Tenorio & Julyette Steur); and sports performer of the year (Ashley Tiefel). The academic MVP will be determined when the 2014 semester comes to an end.
Aiello raced out of the fall season with a team-high 10 wins, then added nine more victories in spring play, all at No. 2 singles, until an injury forced her to miss the rest of the season in the middle of March. Aiello, a sophomore, still tallied 19 wins, second highest on the team.
Ormeño Ruiz took home the clutch player of the year award after securing three singles clinched matches and a pair on the doubles court (with senior Winde Janssens). Ormeño Ruiz won a team-best 20 matches, including 11 wins in dual play. The 20 victories are the most by one player since the 2007-08 campaign.
Ormeño Ruiz is also the first freshman to record 20 wins in a season since 2004-05. She was also a finalist at the 2014 CUSPY Awards (CU Sports Performers of the Year) for the Female Freshman Athlete of the Year.
Manzi Tenorio and Steur shared most valuable player award honors. Manzi Tenorio concluded her four-year collegiate career ranking ninth on the all-time doubles list with 60, in addition ranking No. 31 on the singles list with 50 victories. Overall, she placed No. 20 overall on the combined singles/doubles wins (110).
Steur finished another outstanding season that saw the junior win a team-best 12 spring victories and a runner up-best 19 victories. She was also a two-time CU Athlete of the Week recipient, clinched a pair of team singles wins, and her 12 spring tallies all came at the No. 1 singles position, where she played against the opponent’s No. 1 singles player.
Tiefel was named the Sports Performer of the Year, awarded to the student-athlete who stands out the most in everyday work ethic and increased performances within the weight room. The three-year letterwinner was also named one of three CU student-athletes recognized as recipients of the Most Improved Student-Athlete Awards.