Agarycheva is Chosen as the West Region Player to Watch

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Natalia Agarycheva (Jr., Vancouver, WA/Prairie HS/U. of Northern Colorado) from the Willamette University women's tennis team has been chosen by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as the NCAA Division III West Region Player to Watch during the 2010-11 season, based on voting by the Region's head coaches. Agarycheva, who will compete in the first round of the NCAA Division III Singles Championship on Friday, May 28 in Fredericksburg, Va., is 20-3 in singles this spring.

During the regular season, Agarycheva helped the Bearcats earn a 12-9 overall record, including 10-6 (4th place) in the Northwest Conference. Agarycheva was named NWC Player of the Year after earning a 14-1 record in singles competition during the conference's double round-robin schedule.

Agarycheva is ranked #4 in the West Region in singles and is listed at #7 in the Region in doubles with teammate Shannon Palmer (So., Salem, OR/Sprague HS). Agarycheva earned a 12-7 doubles record, including 10-5 in matches with Palmer.

The Player to Watch Award goes to the top player in each NCAA region who has played one or two years of college tennis and has shown the potential for an outstanding season during the upcoming athletic year. Agarycheva is completing her first year at Willamette and her second season of college tennis overall.

Agarycheva will open the NCAA Singles Championship bracket by taking on #3-seed Julia Browne from Tufts University, Mass., in the opening round of 32 athletes. Action is scheduled to continue throughout the weekend, with the finals set for Sunday, May 30.

Several other West Region award winners in women's tennis were announced by the ITA. Will Marino at Chapman University (Calif.) was chosen Coach of the Year and David Donn from the University of Redlands (Calif.) was named Assistant Coach of the Year.

Lisa Mertz from Hardin-Simmons University (Texas) was chosen for the Arthur Ashe Award (leadership and sportsmanship), while Siobhan Finicane of Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) was selected for the Senior Player Award. The Rookie Player Award went to freshman Jaime Solomon from Pomona-Pitzer.

Natalia Agarycheva has achieved a 20-3 record in singles this season.

Natalia Agarycheva has achieved a 20-3 record in singles this season.