Story by Mitch Blankespoor
SKILLMAN, N.J. – Two members of the Kalamazoo College women's tennis program received regional awards from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Wednesday, May 14. Head Coach Mark Murphy was named the Central Region ITA Coach of the Year while sophomore Sarah Woods was named the "Player to Watch" in the Central Region for the upcoming NCAA III Tennis Championships in Clermont, Calif.
Woods, an Oconomowoc, Wis. native, has fashioned a 19-4 singles record so far this season. Woods has been ranked in the top five of the ITA Central Region rankings for the entire year and currently sits fifth. Woods was also named the MIAA Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year.
"Sarah had another excellent season and is very deserving of this award," said Murphy. "She is one of the best competitors I have ever coached and has the skills to win any match she plays."
Murphy, a graduate of Coe College (Iowa), finished his fifth year as Kalamazoo's head coach. Murphy has a 57-48 record at K including a 32-8 mark in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) play.
"It is an honor to be recognized by your fellow coaches," Murphy said. "In five short years, we have won the MIAA, had an All-American and sent a player to the NCAA III Tennis Championships twice as well as moving into the top 10 in the region. This award is a reflection on our success and where Kalamazoo College Women's Tennis is headed."
Kalamazoo won its first outright MIAA title since 1995 in 2014 going 8-0 in league play and finishing the season with a 15-5 record.