Entering her 14th season at the helm of Virginia Tech’s women’s tennis program, Terry Ann Zawacki-Woods has made her presence felt both on and off the court, as well as on the national circuit.
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The proof of Zawacki-Woods’ success is in her numbers. She has guided Tech to two NCAA Tournament appearances, advancing to the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. In her 13 years, Zawacki-Woods has produced six nationally ranked singles players, two nationally ranked doubles teams, five All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) selections, three All-ACC second-team honorees and three All-ACC third-team nominees. She also trained Inga Beermann for four seasons, and Beermann was named the 2006 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Rookie of the Year in the East Region.
In 2016, Zawacki-Woods led the team to a 14-11 overall record and a 7-7 mark in the ACC. Tech captured two victories over ITA top-20 opponents in Blacksburg, including a 5-2 win vs. then-No. 6 Duke and a 4-3 victory over then-No. 16 Georgia Tech. The Hokies competed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row, dropping a 4-0 decision to then-No. 21 Mississippi State in the first round. Tech finished the season ranked No. 34 in the nation, with Francesca Fusinato and Elena Cerezo-Codina earning All-ACC second- and third-team honors, respectively.
The 2015 season also was one for the record books. Tech experienced its best season since joining the ACC in 2005, claiming an at-large NCAA Tournament bid for the first time in 15 years. Tech, seeded ninth, positioned itself for a first-round bye at the ACC Tournament in Cary, North Carolina, and upset No. 8-seed Boston College, 4-3, to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history.
Tech continued to be victorious, as the Hokies notched an NCAA tournament victory for the first time since 1998, defeating Long Beach State, 4-2, in the first round of the NCAA Championships held in Los Angeles. Tech then dropped a 4-0 decision to No. 1-ranked USC, finishing the season ranked No. 30 in the nation, the highest in school history. The 2015 squad topped seven ranked teams and entered the postseason with each of its top three players ranked nationally. No. 63 Fusinato headlined the trio and was the first player since Beermann in 2006 to earn a bid to the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships.
For her efforts, Zawacki-Woods was named the 2015 Wilson/ITA Head Coach of the Year in the Atlantic Region. Ilinca Stoica, the squad’s No. 1 singles player, ended her junior campaign with
Atlantic Region ITA Player to Watch honors. Stoica also became the first player in Tech history selected to play at the indoor nationals in the fall and was named an alternate for the NCAA Singles Championships.
In its first 10 seasons as a member of the ACC, Tech staked its claim as a competitor in one of the toughest conferences in the country. From 2005-14, Zawacki-Woods experienced numerous battles that helped her develop the women’s tennis program into the dynamic force that it is today. Tech has managed to finish in the ITA’s final season poll each year under Zawacki-Woods’ 13-year span, with the exception of the 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2012 seasons.
In her first season as the Hokies’ head coach, Zawacki-Woods led an injury-riddled squad to a 14-14 record and a fourth-place finish in the team’s final season in the BIG EAST Conference. Tech was ranked as high as No. 53 in the nation and posted victories over No. 65 Brown, No. 50 Washington State and No. 74 Minnesota. The Hokies also compiled a 12-5 record at home, with four of the five losses coming against nationally ranked opponents.
More importantly, Zawacki-Woods molded Yasmin Hamza (2011) and Carol Kahoun (2014) as recipients of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award for the Atlantic Region. This specific award takes into account a player’s tennis accomplishments, scholastic achievements and extracurricular endeavors as well as recognizes players who have excelled on and off the court. Along those same lines, the 2007 team also was the recipient of the ACC Sportsmanship Award.
Of note, the Hokies have been named an ITA All-Academic Team seven times under Zawacki-Woods’ watch. She coached nine different student-athletes listed on the All-ACC Academic Team as well as 27 ITA Scholar Athletes.
Most notably, Martha Blakely was named to the Academic All-America Women’s at-Large Third Team, selected by the College of Sports Information Directors of America, for two consecutive seasons (2010-11). Blakely also was awarded the 2010 Skelton Award, a top honor handed out by the Virginia Tech’s Athletic Department.
Prior to coming to Tech, Zawacki-Woods served as the head coach at UNC Charlotte for three seasons. In only her first year as head coach, Zawacki-Woods guided the 49ers to an ITA ranking of No. 59 for the first time in school history.
Prior to her three-year stint at Charlotte, Zawacki-Woods worked as an assistant coach at Michigan for three seasons. In 1998, her first year as an assistant, she helped lead the Wolverines to a second-place finish in the Big Ten Conference. She also assisted in the production of two Big Ten Sportswomen of the Year.
After graduating from college, Zawacki-Woods spent some time on the pro circuit. She advanced to the second round of the A&P Classic in Mahwah, New Jersey, where she had the opportunity to compete against the then-No. 3 player in the world, Monica Seles.
Prior to the pro circuit, Zawacki-Woods was a two-time All-American at Wake Forest, leading the Demon Deacons to three ACC finals and three top-15 finishes in the nation. As a student-athlete, Zawacki-Woods was Wake’s first tennis player to land on the All-ACC list four years in a row and was the first to compete in the NCAA Singles Championships. She went on to compete at the NCAA Singles Championships for four straight years, playing at No. 1 singles her entire collegiate career.
She also was the first Wake Forest player to become a nationally ranked competitor all four years, achieving her highest ranking of sixth in the nation. For her outstanding efforts, she was named the 1993 Southeast Region Rookie of the Year and the 1996 Southeast Senior of the Year, landing on the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team.
Additionally, Zawacki-Woods served and chaired on the NCAA Women’s Tennis Committee and the ITA Operations Committee. She also was chair of the ITA Atlantic Region.
A native of Union, New Jersey, Zawacki-Woods lives in Christiansburg with her daughter Kirsten.