April 19, 2006
Virginia women's tennis coach Mark Guilbeau was named the 2006 ACC Women's Tennis Coach of the Year conference officials announced on Wednesday. In addition, fourth-year Kristen James (Clifton, Va.) was named to the 18-player All-ACC women's tennis team.
In his first season at Virginia, Guilbeau has led the Cavaliers to one of the best seasons in school history. The team had a 6-5 record in the ACC, setting a new school record with ACC wins in a season and compiling its first winning season in the conference since 1994. Guilbeau helped lead Virginia to the program's first ever wins over top ten opponents, with wins over No. 10 Duke on March 25 and No. 6 Miami on April 9. Last week, the Cavaliers cracked the top 25 in the ITA rankings for the first time in three seasons.
"I am very fortunate to be coach at the University of Virginia," said Guilbeau. "This award feels great because of what it represents for this team. I would first like to thank the team for all of their effort, energy, focus and hard work. They have made it a very positive process here. I give great thanks to (assistant coach) Troy Porco, and share this award completely with him. He has done every bit as much of the work this season as I have and working with him has made this job a complete pleasure. I also want to thank all the coaches in the ACC for this recognition for our program. And I also want to thank all our support staff, from trainers, sports information, and administration, that have helped us in so many ways this season."
James earns All-ACC honors for the second time in her career, also earning All-ACC accolades in 2004. Currently she is ranked No. 17 in the nation in doubles with Lori Stern (Ojai, Calif.), and No. 116 in singles. On the season, she has a 21-15 singles record, including a 7-4 mark in the ACC, and a 29-12 doubles record, including a 6-5 record at No. 1 doubles in the ACC with Stern.
"Any All-ACC awards are a complete reflection of the team," states Guilbeau. "It is a great step for this program to have the recognition from the conference. I am very happy for Kristen and it is a well-deserved award. It speaks volumes for this team. Every member of the team plays a role in any individual award. Kristen and the entire team have done a great job this season. Along with Kristen, I believe Lori Stern should certainly be mentioned in the All-ACC category. Their progress and high level of doubles is a huge factor for the success of our team."
The Cavaliers (12-8, 6-5) are the No. 6 seed for the 2006 ACC Tournament which begins Thursday at the Cary Tennis Center in Cary, N.C. Virginia opens play at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday with an opening round matchup against No. 11 seed Virginia Tech.