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West Liberty’s Howard is WVIAC Player of the Year

October 20, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

CHARLESTON, W.Va. West Liberty University sophomore Lauren Howard was honored Friday as the West Virginia Conference's 2012 Women's Tennis Player of the Year when the WVIAC tennis coaches announced the 2012 All-WVIAC women's tennis team.

It's the third Player of the Year honor in the last four seasons for Coach Heather Gallagher's Lady Hilltopper program.

The announcement came during a break in quarterfinal action at the 2012 WVIAC Tennis Championships at the Schoenbaum Tennis Complex. West Liberty junior Raissa Wischi shared the spotlight with Howard, earning first-team All-WVIAC honors for the third consecutive year.

A sophomore from Lee-on-Solent, England, Howard was a major factor as the Hilltoppers rolled to a runner-up finish in the WVIAC regular-season standings and the No. 2 seed in this weekend's tournament.

Last season's WVIAC Freshman of the Year, Howard compiled a 9-1 record in conference play at No. 1 singles and teamed with junior standout Raissa Wischi the 2010 WVIAC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year to post an unblemished 10-0 mark at No. 1 doubles.

Wischi, a native of Sao Paolo, Brazil, also had an outstanding season for the Black and Gold. In addition to her undefeated record at No. 1 doubles, Wischi went 9-1 at No. 2 singles with her only loss coming to unbeaten WVIAC Freshman of the Year Brittany Franco of West Virginia State.

Fact Box


2012 All-WVIAC Team

Player of the Year

Lauren Howard (West Liberty)

Freshman of the Year

Brittany Franco (W.Va. State)

Coach of the Year

John Simms (W.Va. State)

All-WVIAC Team

Diana Cotoros, W.Va. State, Fr., Chisinau, Moldova

Brittany Franco, W.Va. State, Fr., Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Marijana Gjorgievska, Bluefield State, Jr., Skoeje, Macedonia

Kelsey Hensley, Charleston, So., Ashland, Ky.

Julia Hoehn, Davis & Elkins, So., Thurnau, Germany

Lauren Howard, West Liberty, So., Lee-On-Solent, England

Megan Hudak, Seton Hill, So., Export, Pa.

Andreea Slusarciuc, W.Va. State, Jr., Timisoara, Romania

Laura Smith, Charleston, Sr., Townsville, Australia

Raissa Wischi, West Liberty, Jr., Sao Paolo, Brazil

WVIAC Players of the Year

1987: Brenda Echart (West Liberty)

1988: Rebecca Falbo (Charleston)

1989: Missy Bailey (W.Va. Wesleyan)

1990: Missy Bailey (W.Va. Wesleyan)

1991: Melissa Fredrickson (Charleston)

1992: Ali Wenman (Charleston)

1993: Ali Wenman (Charleston)

1994: Kelly Brown (West Liberty)

1995: Kelly Brown (West Liberty)

1996: Kelly Brown (West Liberty)

1997: Renee Williams (Charleston)

1998: Tara Elkin (West Liberty)

1999: Tara Elkin (West Liberty)

2000: Tara Elkin (West Liberty)

2001: Tara Elkin (West Liberty)

2002: Tara Tragesser (Charleston)

2003: LeAnn McGhee (West Liberty)

2004: Heather Alcorn (West Liberty)

2005: Bre Moyle (Charleston)

2006: Jana Deylova (W.Va. State)

2007: Anna Baronayte (W.Va. State)

2008: Bre Moyle (Charleston)

2009: Marina Quintana (West Liberty)

2010: Raissa Wischi (West Liberty)/Andreea Slusarciuc (W.Va. State)

2011: Brittany Craig (W.Va. State)

2012: Lauren Howard (West Liberty)

WVIAC Freshmen of the Year

2004: Heather Alcorn (West Liberty)

2005: Bre Moyle (Charleston)

2006: Maggie Koetter (W.Va. State)

2007: Anna Baronayte (W.Va. State)

2008: Brittany Craig (W.Va. State)

2009: Anastasiya Scherbakova (W.Va. Wesleyan)

2010: Raissa Wischi (West Liberty)/Andreea Slusarciuc (W.Va. State)

2011: Lauren Howard (West Liberty)

2012: Brittany Franco (W.Va. State)

WVIAC Coaches of the Year

1987: Roger Parker (Shepherd)

1988: Barbara Haines (Fairmont State)

1989: Larry Cochren (Charleston)

1990: Jim Smith (W.Va. Wesleyan)

1991: Jim Crutchfield (West Liberty)

1992: Jim Crutchfield (West Liberty)

1993: Bill Vincent (Bluefield State)

1994: Jim Crutchfield (West Liberty)

1995: Lee Underwood (Davis & Elkins)

1996: Jim Crutchfield (West Liberty)

1997: Tom Watkins (WVU Tech)

1998: Jim Crutchfield (West Liberty)

1999: Shari Reed (Charleston)

2000: Ken Miller (Fairmont State)

2001: Ken Miller (Fairmont State)

2002: Jim Crutchfield (West Liberty)

2003: John Simms (W.Va. State)/Chris Stambaugh (Shepherd)/Matt Bohman (W.Va. Wesleyan)

2004: Heather Gallagher (West Liberty)

2005: Shari Reed (Charleston)

2006: John Simms (W.Va. State)

2007: John Simms (W.Va. State)

2008: Shari Reed (Charleston)

2009: Shari Reed (Charleston)

2010: John Simms (W.Va. State)

2011: Shari Reed (Charleston)

2012: John Simms (W.Va. State)

West Liberty was scheduled to take on Seton Hill Friday afternoon in a WVIAC quarterfinal.

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