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Big 12 Garners 11 ITA All-America Honors
June 08, 2012
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A total of 11 Big 12 tennis student-athletes earned a spot on the 2012 Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-America Teams for Division I men's and women's tennis. Over the last 16 years, the Conference has had 112 All-America selections.

The league landed four competitors on the men's doubles squad, including Costin Paval and Dane Webb (Oklahoma) and Raony Carvalho and Gonzalo Escobar (Texas Tech). Paval and Escobar also made the singles team along with Mate Zsiga (Baylor).

Paval and Webb finished 2012 ranked fifth nationally and teamed for a 17-4 doubles record. The duo reached the NCAA National Championship semifinals before falling in three sets to the eventual title winners.

Carvalho and Escobar advanced all of the way to the finals of the 2012 NCAA Doubles Championship and finished the year ranked No. 3 in the country with a 14-2 mark.

In singles play, Paval went 16-3 in the spring and was voted the Big 12 Player of the Year. He finished the year 15th in the ITA rankings and becomes just the second Sooner to be named an All-American in singles, following Oliver Lorin, who was named to the All-America team in consecutive seasons in 1987 and 1988.

Escobar, advanced all of the way to Round of 16 in the NCAA Singles Championship to raise his end of the year ranking to No. 27. The senior was 32-12 on the season.

Zsiga, a native of Szeged, Hungary, finished the season ranked No. 17 with a 22-5 mark in dual-match play. He becomes just the second Baylor freshman to earn singles All-America honors, former Bear standout Benjamin Becker was a 2002 recipient. The Bears have now had an All-American in 11 straight seasons and a singles All-American in 11 of the last 13 years.

On the women's side, Ema Burgic and Nina Secerbegovic (Baylor) were honored for their doubles play, while Secerbegovic is joined by Diana Nakic (Baylor), Petra Niedermayerova (Kansas State), Aerial Ellis (Texas) and Cristina Sanchez Quintanar (Texas A&M) as singles honorees.

Burgic and Secerbegovic wrapped up the 2012 campaign with a 9-5 mark and a rank of No. 14. In singles play, Secerbegovic was 26-4 and reached the Round of 16 in the NCAA Singles Championship. She is now a three-time singles All-American. Nakic finished 18-8 on the year and reach the second round of NCAA play. The two Lady Bears were ranked No. 19 and 20, respectively, in the final ITA poll.

With a NCAA Round of 16 singles appearance, Niedermayerova became the third K-State player to receive the All-America distinction. For the 2011-12 season, Niedermayerova finishes with an overall record of 24-13 (.649) including a 9-12 mark against ranked opponents.

Ellis, claimed her second consecutive ITA singles All-American honor, by advancing to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Singles Championship. She finished her junior season with a 20-17 overall record and a final ranking of No. 33.

Sanchez-Quintanar went 40-6 (.870) in singles, setting an A&M record for the highest winning percentage in a season. Sanchez-Quintanar was 24-1 in dual matches. The junior from Campo de Criptana, Spain, was No. 6 in the year-end singles rankings after reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championship as a No. 7 seed.

In order to earn recognition on the singles squad, a player must be a top 16 seed in NCAA Singles Championships, reach the Round of 16 in NCAA Singles Championships or finish in the top 20 of the final ITA rankings. For doubles honors, a student-athlete must be a top eight seed in the NCAA Doubles Championships, reach quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championships or finish in the top 10 of the final ITA rankings.

In total, the Big 12 had 23 singles players (11 men, 12 women) and 19 doubles tandems (eight men, 11 women) ranked in the final ITA individual listings.

In the final ITA team rankings, five Big 12 men's squads were ranked in the top 30, including three in the top 25. It is the third straight year that the Conference has had five teams ranked in the top 30 and the fifth time in the last seven years. Oklahoma is the highest ranked Big 12 member at No. 10.

On the women's side, eight league squads are listed in the top 75, while four made the top 25. It is first time in league history that a quartet of teams have been ranked in the top 25. Texas is the highest ranked women's team at No. 10.

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