DENVER- Chicago State's George Botha and Grand Canyon's Emilia Occhipinti, Grand Canyon doubles team Lorenzo Fucile and Mathieu Rajaonah and doubles team Emilia Occhipinti and Celina Buhr have been named the Men's and Women's Western Athletic Conference Tennis Athletes of the Week, respectively, for January 22-28.
Botha, a senior from Cradock, South Africa, went 3-0 over the weekend helping the Cougars to wins over University of Illinois-Chicago and St. Francis University. He picked up the only point for CSU in their loss to Wright State. Botha won the match-tying set for Chicago State as they fought back from a 3-0 deficit against UIC to win the match 4-3.
Occhipinti, a junior from Ragusa, Italy, defeated opponents from Southern Utah (5-7, 6-4, 6-2) and Nevada (6-2, 6-2) to go 2-0 on the weekend. She helped the Lopes to a 5-2 win over Southern Utah. Occhipinti moves to 3-1 on the season in singles play.
Fucile, a junior from Messina, Italy, and Rajaonah, a senior from Marseille, France, kept their perfect doubles record intact picking up two more wins and moving to 4-0 on the season. The pair defeated opponents from Florida Gulf Coast and Sacramento State 6-4.
Occhipinti and Buhr, a junior from Hamburg, Germany, were the only doubles team from GCU to go 2-0 over the weekend. They picked up a controlling win over Southern Utah, 6-2, followed by a 6-4 win over Nevada.
Other male singles nominees: Lorenzo Fucile of Grand Canyon won twice against Florida Gulf Coast and Sacramento State to move to 3-1 on the season… NM State's Enrique Asmar opened his season with a pair of dominating wins over Mesa CC and Western New Mexico… Samuel de Felipe Garcia of UT Rio Grande Valley finished the week 1-1 earning a victory against Prairie View A&M.
Other female singles nominees: Kansas City's Thanushree Vale won 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 against an opponent from Bradley to clinch the win for the Roos… Lindsay Harlas of NM State posted a controlling win, 6-1, 6-1, over Western New Mexico… Seattle U's Alisa Sabotic competed in the Redhawks' first match of the season against Washington.
Other male doubles nominees: NM State's Stijn de Haan and Mauri Benitez won easily over pairs from Mesa CC and Western New Mexico… Yehonatan Kaufman and George Hutchings of UT Rio Grande Valley finished the weekend 1-0 defeating Prairie View A&M 6-2.
Other female doubles nominees: Grace Ball and Thea Dassy of Kansas City kicked off their year going 1-1 with a win over Bradley… NM State's Rebecca Keijzerwaard and Yadira Rubio defeated a Western New Mexico duo 6-0.