Fusinato, Novotna garner ITA Atlantic region awards

BLACKSBURG – All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorees Francesca Fusinato and Natalie Novotna of the Virginia Tech women’s tennis team were honored with Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) regional awards, as announced by the association Monday evening.

Fusinato was named the ITA Senior Player of the Year for the Atlantic Region, while Novotna earned ITA Player to Watch honors. Fusinato, a four-time All-ACC honoree, is the first senior in program history to earn the award. In addition, Novotna is the second Tech student-athlete to receive ITA Player to Watch honors and the first since Ilinca Stoica in 2015.

A native of Feltre Belluno, Italy, Fusinato completed her senior season with a 16-8 dual-match singles record. She has topped a total of seven ranked opponents, including three inside the top 50, and has won three of her last four matches at the No. 1 singles slot. Fusinato concluded ACC play with an 8-5 singles record and has not lost a three-set match all year.

Fusinato is currently ranked inside both the ITA singles and doubles poll. She is a part of the No. 79 doubles tandem in the nation, playing primarily at the No. 1 slot with teammate Caroline Daxhelet. The Hokie duo has upset two top-35 opponents since paring up together midway through the 2017 season. She also ranks No. 107 in singles.

A native of Vysoka nad Labem, Czech Republic, Novotna ended her freshman campaign with a team best 18-5 dual-match singles record. She started the spring season rotating between courts, but settled in at court No. 2 midway through the year, totaling a 9-5 singles record in ACC action. She has topped a total of three ranked opponents and has won five of her last six matches at the No. 2 singles slot. She also showed a 6-0 singles record on court three and a 3-0 singles mark on court four. Novotna is currently ranked as the No. 93 singles player in the country and was named a third-team All-ACC selection as a freshman.

The squad finished its season with an 11-13 record, falling to Boston College in the first round of the ACC Tournament by a heartbreaking 4-3 decision.

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