Yulia Bryzgalova made history in a number of ways on Thursday.
The star freshman for Penn women’s tennis was unanimously named the Ivy League Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. She is the fifth player in Ivy League history, and the fourth in Penn history, to receive both of those awards in the same season. The last Quaker to do so was Connie Hsu in 2011.
Penn coach Sanela Kunovac also knows what it’s like to earn that distinction. In her freshman season at Penn in 2001, she became the first woman in program history to be named Player and Rookie of the Year in the Ivy League.
Bryzgalova’s rookie year could not have gone much better, as she finished with a 28-3 record across the fall and spring seasons. In dual matches, she lost just one of her 16 contests, and she went 5-0 against Ivy opponents, not dropping a single set.
Bryzgalova was also named a second team All-Ivy honoree in doubles, along with her partner OJ Singh, who is also a reporter for the DP. The freshman-senior duo finished the year with a 16-1 record in dual matches. In conference play, Bryzgalova and Singh dropped their first match but rebounded strongly to cap off the season with five consecutive victories.
Senior Marta Kowalska and sophomore Marija Curnic earned high honors in doubles, as well, being listed to the All-Ivy first team after a 21-7 season at the top doubles spot. In singles, Kowalska was a second team honoree; she went 17-10 on the year as the No. 2 singles player for the Red and Blue.
As a team, the Quakers had one of their best seasons in recent memory. They notched 16 wins, the most they’ve had since 2007, and closed out the Ivy League season with five consecutive victories.