Horvath's MVP Honor Headlines Awards Banquet

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan.The KU tennis team officially put a close to its 2006-07 season on Monday night with its annual awards banquet. The evening featured the presentation of awards to four student-athletes for their outstanding efforts this year.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Highlighting the evening was the presentation of the team’s Most Valuable Player award to sophomore Edina Horvath. The Budapest, Hungary, native was selected to the All-Big 12 doubles team alongside Elizaveta Avdeeva, and the duo finished second in the league standings at the No. 1 doubles position. Overall, Horvath and Avdeeva posted a record of 23-9, including a 15-7 mark this spring.

Horvath also had a solid year in singles play, finishing the spring with 11 wins, which were second most on the team. Horvath began the season playing in the No. 3 position, but was moved up to the No. 2 slot midway through the year.

This year’s Most Improved Player honor went to Yuliana Svistun. The sophomore, who competed in only 10 singles matches as a freshman, shined in 2006-07, finishing 25-8 overall in singles matches, including a 15-6 record this spring, both of which were team-bests. Svistun went 8-3 in Big 12 contests in the No. 5 position, which was the conference’s second-best mark. She also put together a winning-streak of seven-straight singles matches midway through the season, which was the longest by any KU player this year.

For the second year in a row, the Hardest Worker Award went to junior Lauren Hommell. Hampered by injuries all season, Hommell continued to play through pain in both practice and match-play. The Roswell, Ga., native’s biggest contribution to the Jayhawks this season was in doubles play, where she teamed with freshman Kunigunda Dorn in the No. 2 spot. The duo won its final three matches, including a victory over Texas A&M’s tandem of Lubinsky and Mechem that was ranked 39th in the nation.

Also repeating as an award winner was junior Stephanie Smith, who took home the Sportsmanship Award for the second time in as many years. Smith, who was also plagued by injuries for much of the season, provided KU with strong leadership both on and off the court. A Salina, Kan., native, Smith finished 13-15 overall in singles play, which included a dual-clinching win against Utah on Feb. 17 in her first match of the spring.

Also recognized Monday evening was Dorn, who was presented with a letterman’s jacket for her outstanding efforts during her freshman campaign.