MSU: Three earn All America honors; Brennan starts solidly at Nationals

Maddy Coffman earned ITA All America honors for both singles and doubles, as announced Wednesday / Source: KAUZ
Maddy Coffman earned ITA All America honors for both singles and doubles, as announced Wednesday / Source: KAUZ

Coffman, Ramirez make history with All America honors

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State junior Maddy Coffman and sophomore Ashley Ramirez became the program's first All-Americans on Wednesday, announced in the Oracle/ITA National Rankings. Coffman earned double All-America honors, receiving a No. 18 ranking in singles and a No. 4 ranking in doubles with Ramirez.

To receive All-American status, individuals must finish in the Top 20 of the final Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings in singles or finish in the Top 10 in doubles.

After an appearance at the NCAA II Championships and advancing to the Round of 16, the Mustangs finished the year ranked No. 12 in the polls. MSU (19-7) remained in the top-25 for the 36th-consecutive ranking, dating back to April 24, 2013.

Despite not receiving the Lone Star Conference Player of the Year Award, Coffman was the highest ranked individual in the LSC and first All-American in singles in program history at No. 18. The Flower Mound native recorded a 15-8 record on the season, matching Alex Odell-Michels's program record 15 wins at the No. 1 flight, with four wins against nationally ranked opponents. Coffman has combined for an 81-22 (.786) record in two years in the Maroon and Gold after transferring from Dallas Baptist as a freshman.

In doubles, Ramirez and Coffman finished No. 4 in the rankings, the highest in program history, to garner All-America accolades. The pair earned five wins against nationally ranked opponents in a campaign that featured 20 wins.

Senior Daria Panferova climbed 22 spots to No. 42 in singles. The Moscow native was ranked as high as No. 20 to start the season, but missed the early portion of the schedule due to an injury. Since her return to the lineup, Panferova has done nothing but win, rattling off a program record 18 straight singles wins for an 18-1 record at No. 3. With 41 combined wins on the season, Panferova ranks 11th on the single-season combined wins list, going an astonishing 41-2 between singles and doubles, owning the best and second-best winning percentage in the program's history, respectively.

Sophomore Bianca Duff moved up 11 spots to No. 51. The Australian boasts a 15-10 singles record on the season, including a 14-9 record at the No. 2 flight. In her two seasons with the Maroon and Gold, Duff is a combined 80-22 (.784), sporting a 48-6 record in doubles.

Coffman narrowly missed being a triple All-American as she and Duff earned a No. 14 final ranking despite having not played together since late February, earning a 1-1 record.

Making their debut in the national poll, junior Greta Lazzarotto and Duff received a No. 45 spot after rattling off a program-record 23-straight wins for a 23-1 record. One of the best doubles players in MSU history, Lazzarotto needs six wins to match Brooke Gray's program record of 78 while her 24 wins this season were the third most in the history of the program. Duff is one win away from cracking the top-15 in career doubles wins while her .889 winning percentage is No. 1 all-time.

Vijayaraman earns All America status

Midwestern State senior Vasudev Vijayaraman became the program's second singles All-American since becoming DII, announced in the Oracle/ITA National Rankings on Wednesday. Finishing the year at No. 13, Vijayaraman joins Andrew Norman (1985, NAIA) and Brett Emerson (2007) as MSU's only singles All-Americans while Zac Dillard and Emerson earned the distinction in doubles in 2006.

To receive All-American status, individuals must finish in the Top 20 of the final Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings in singles or finish in the Top 10 in doubles.

After an appearance in the NCAA II National Quarterfinals, the Mustangs finished the year ranked No. 15 in the polls. MSU (22-6) has remained in the top-25 for the 37th consecutive poll, dating back to Feb. 27, 2013.

Vijayaraman remained at No. 13 in the individual singles rankings with a 17-10 ranking to earn All-American status. The Chennai, India, native was named the ITA South Central Region's Most Improved Senior, earning seven wins against nationally ranked opponents while playing the No. 1 flight for the Mustangs.

Sophomore Angel Palacios stayed at No. 73 with a 21-4 record. The Piedras Negras native's 43 combined wins and 21 singles wins this season rank fourth and fifth, respectively, on MSU's all-time list.

MSU's tandem of freshman Nolan McCaig and junior Dillon Pineda bumped up to No. 12 in doubles. The duo has gone 17-10 on the season, all at the No. 1 flight, including three wins over ranked opponents.

Brennan starts solidly, still has work to do

Midwestern State's Emily Brennan got off to a good start in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Championships Wednesday at Bay Oaks Country Club.

The Stoke-on-Trent, England native carded a solid 2-over 74 to stand in a tie for 27th place with three rounds to play.

"Emily was good, but not as sharp as she can be," MSU coach Jeff Ray said. "Like always, she competed like crazy. We worked really hard to make sure she was putting the ball in the right position and she did that."

Brennan hit eight of 14 fairways reaching 10 greens in regulation while taking 30 putts.

"It was pretty solid to be fair, but could be better," Brennan said. "It's put me in the running and that's what counts."

She recorded three birdies with one coming on the par-5, 515-yard Hole No. 5 and the others coming on par-4s over the final four holes including a birdie chip on the final hole of the day -- the 381-yard 18th hole.

"She played very well, but didn't putt as well as she normally does," Ray said. "She has the ability to shoot under par here."

Brennan, who was even-par on the Back Nine, stands five strokes behind tournament leading Casey Wild of Tarleton State and Tampa's Kiira Riijijarvi. The two individual medalist competitors carded 3-under 69s.

Brennan is in position to move toward the top of the leader board with 54 holes to play. She is familiar with the course having carded a pair of 73s to finish fourth in the D2 National Preview last fall.

"I just need to play my game," she said. "The greens are quite soft. I just need to attack the pins to have shorter putts and drop a couple."

Brennan draws a tee time at 10:25 a.m. Thursday morning going off of the 10th hole.

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