Zabkar named ITA Carolina Region Assistant Coach of the Year 05-13-2012

SKILLMAN, N.J. – UNCG assistant women's tennis coach Erica Zabkar has been named the ITA Carolina Region Assistant Coach of the Year, the organization announced Monday. The award is selected by the ITA Regional Committee.

In selecting the regional coaches the year, the committee looks at the sportsmanship of the coaches and their players, team performance during the current year and the coaches' careers, and the contributions of the assistant coaches to the game of tennis. A coach must be in at least his or her second year at his or her current school to be considered for the award.

Zabkar, who just wrapped up her fourth year on Southern Conference Coach of the Year Jeff Trivette's staff, helped guide the Spartans to an 18-6 overall record and a 10-0 SoCon mark in 2012 as UNCG won its first-ever outright SoCon title. The 18 overall wins were a school record for the spring season and the 10 SoCon wins were UNCG's most ever in league play.

The top-seeded Spartans also advanced to the SoCon Championship title bout for the first time in school history.

UNCG turned in a 10-match winning streak this season, during which the Spartans knocked off No. 61 College of Charleston to snap the Cougars' 36-match winning streak against league opponents. UNCG jumped into the national rankings at No. 74 after that win.

Zabkar helped mentor a roster that took home several postseason league honors. Niltooli Wilkins was named the SoCon Player of the Year and set a school record for singles wins with 30. Wilkins and Lucy Dougherty, who were ranked as high as 40th nationally this season, were a first-team All-SoCon doubles duo.

Annette Rios and Stephanie Falcon took second-team All-SoCon honors in singles, while Rios and Kayla Gammie earned second-team all-conference honors in doubles.

Zabkar, who played for the Spartans from 2004-08, will now go onto the ballot for ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year. The regional coaches of the year and the national coach of the year will be recognized at the ITA Award Luncheon at the NCAA Women's Tennis Championship, which takes place May 17-28 in Athens, Ga.

- UNCG -

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