Hommell's MVP Honors Headline Team Awards Banquet

May 9, 2008

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Lauren Hommell was named the team’s Most Valuable Player, highlighting the University of Kansas tennis squad’s annual awards banquet, which was held on May 8. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Hommell, who came back after missing the fall season with an arm injury, had a standout season for the Jayhawks, finishing 10-5 in singles play. The Roswell, Ga., native was a consistently clutch player for KU this spring. In Kansas’ victories over Kansas State, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Nebraska, Hommell recorded the clinching singles win that broke a 3-3 tie and sent the Jayhawks to the dual victory.

Hommell also had a strong season in doubles, finishing with eight dual wins, and was named second-team Academic All-Big 12.

Senior Elizaveta Avdeeva was presented with the Hardest Worker Award. The Obninsk, Russia, native, who finished her career at KU as the program’s all-time leader in Big 12 doubles victories, is a two-time All-Big 12 singles and doubles selection, and ended 2008 with a team-best 13 doubles win in dual play.

Avdeeva excelled in the classroom as well. She was named to this year’s Academic All-Big 12 first team and was one of five KU student-athletes presented with the Robert Frederick Scholar Athlete of the Year Award.

Taking home the Academic Award this season was senior Stephanie Smith. Throughout her career, Smith was been named Academic All-Big 12 three times, including in 2008. The Salina, Kan., native – a finance major – went 5-4 in singles play in dual matches this spring.

The Most Improved Player Award went to sophomore Kunigunda Dorn. After going just 6-15 in dual singles play as a freshman, Dorn finished 10-10 this spring, which was tied for second-most victories on the team. The Sopron, Hungary native also had a strong doubles season, going 8-8 in dual play with Hommell playing at No. 2. Dorn was named first team Academic All-Big 12 this season as well.

Finally, junior Edina Horvath was presented with the Sportsmanship Award. The Budapest, Hungary, native had a stellar season, leading KU with 12 singles victories in dual play while posting a 13-9 doubles record with Avdeeva in the No. 1 position.

Along with the individual awards, seniors Avdeeva, Hommell and Smith were recognized for their four years of dedication to the program. Freshmen Magdalena Tokarczyk – who was named All-Big 12 singles – and Maria Martinez were each presented with letter jackets.

Overall, Kansas had one of its better seasons in recent memory, finishing fifth in the regular-season Big 12 standings – the programs best league performance since 2002. KU also appeared in the national rankings for the first time in two years and recorded a first-round victory over IowaState in the Big 12 Championships.