Bowling Green State University coach Penny Dean has been named the 2013 Mid-American Conference Women's Tennis Coach of the Year. The league office announced the All-MAC Teams and specialty awards on Thursday afternoon (April 25), prior to the start of the 2013 MAC Championships this weekend
Additionally, junior Nikki Chiricosta was named to the All-MAC Second Team, earning all-league honors for the second consecutive season.
Dean, in her 23rd year at the BGSU helm, earns the MAC Coach-of-the-Year Award for the first time. She is just the second Falcon coach to earn the honor. June Stack was a co-winner in the 1985 season.
Dean has guided the Falcons to arguably the top season in school history in 2012-13. BGSU currently has an overall record of 16-4, and the Falcons have tied the school record for dual-match victories. Dean's 1998-99 and 2007-08 teams also won 16 matches.
The 2012-13 Falcons finished the regular season with a 5-3 MAC record, good for a tie for second place in the final conference standings. BGSU is the number-two seed for this weekend's MAC Championships. Both the team's regular-season finish and conference tourney seed are the best in program history.
Heading into this weekend's action, Dean has a record of 265-221 at BGSU, and a career head-coaching mark of 311-265. She spent four years as the head coach at the University of Toledo prior to taking the BGSU job.
In the classroom, Dean's student-athletes have been wildly successful. Earlier this week, the tennis team was recognized at the BGSU athletic department's annual Honors Night for having the highest grade-point average of any of BGSU's women's teams for the third consecutive year. The team's GPA currently stands at a stellar 3.74.
Additionally, Dean's Falcons have earned an NCAA Public Recognition Award in each of the eight years since the honor was instituted. The award is given each year to teams scoring in the top 10 percent in their sport with their Academic Progress Rate. BGSU has had a pefect score of 1,000 in every year of the APR's existence.
The Falcons also have been named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team in five consecutive seasons, and BGSU has had at least three individuals earn ITA All-Academic recognition in each of those three years.
Chiricosta, a native of Avon Lake, Ohio (Avon Lake H.S.), earned all-conference honors for the second consecutive season, having been named to the All-MAC First Team a year ago. This year, she has an overall record of 51-21, leading the team in total wins. In singles action, she has a 26-8 mark, including a 16-4 record in dual-match play, having split her time between the first and second flights. Chiricosta went 5-3 in MAC matches, playing four of those eight matches at the top flight and four at the second.
In doubles, Chiricosta has an overall mark of 25-13 this season, and has teamed with fellow junior Emily Reuland to go 22-12 in 2012-13 to date. That duo played at the number-one doubles flight in 18 of this season's 20 dual matches.
Chiricosta, just a junior, already is tied for fifth in BGSU history with a total of 77 singles wins in her career. She has 72 doubles victories to rank ninth on that school list. Her total of 149 combined career wins deadlocks her for fourth on that BG list.
The All-MAC First Team was comprised of two players from Akron, in Angelina Jogasuria and Prang Pantusart, along with Miami's Nimisha Mohan, Eastern Michigan's Klara Supejova, Ball State's Courtney Wild and Nelle Youel of Northern Illinois.
Chiricosta was joined on the All-MAC Second Team by BSU's Courtney Earnest, Buffalo's Tanvi Shah, UA's Olga Shkundina, Western Michigan's Nini Sujashvili and Miami's Alix Thurman.
EMU's Supejova was named both the MAC Player of the Year and the MAC Freshman of the Year, while Toledo's Emily Mazzola won the Leann Grimes Davidge Sportsmanship Award.
The Leann Grimes Davidge Sportsmanship Award is the result of voting by the MAC women's tennis student-athletes. The other awards all were the result of voting by the conference's nine head coaches.
The Falcons, the second seed for the MAC Championships, have earned a bye into Saturday's (April 27) semifinal round. BGSU will face either third-seeded Akron or sixth-seeded Buffalo in a 2:00 p.m. start at the Cardinal Creek Tennis Center, weather permitting. The semifinal-round winners will advanced to Sunday's (April 28) championship, which will begin at 12:00 p.m.
The complete list of All-MAC Team and specialty-award winners follows.
2013 ALL-MAC FIRST TEAM
Angelina Jogasuria, Akron
Nimisha Mohan, Miami
& Prang Pantusart, Akron
Klara Supejova, Eastern Michigan
# Courtney Wild, Ball State
Nelle Youel, Northern Illinois
2013 ALL-MAC SECOND TEAM
# Nikki Chiricosta, Bowling Green
Courtney Earnest, Ball State
# Tanvi Shah, Buffalo
Olga Shkundina, Akron
Nini Sujashvili, Western Michigan
Alix Thurman, Miami