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May 3, 2010

Men’s and women’s tennis hand out 2009-10 team awards

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Men’s and women’s head coach Kenny Doyle recently announced the team award recipients for the 2009-10 season at the team’s awards cookout.

Alex Chen earned team MVP on the men’s side, while Leydi Zora took home team MVP honors for the women. Josh Girling was awarded the team’s Johnny Donnelly Maverick Award.

A first-team all-conference selection, Chen played atop the lineup Golden Eagle lineup for the entire season, helping the team to a second place conference finish. He compiled an 11-4 dual meet record during the spring and finished with a 6-1 mark in OVC matches.

Chen, a sophomore for Samarkand, Uzbekistan, had winning streaks of four and five matches en route to leading the team in victories in singles action. On the doubles court, Chen finished the conference season 3-3 with teammate Lloyd Harris. In his two seasons at Tech, Chen has racked up 25 career wins on the singles court.

Zora, a second-team all-OVC selection, was the lone women’s player to earn all-conference honors after she went 4-5 at the No. 1 singles position during conference play for the Golden Eagles.

A junior transfer from Arkansas State in her first season at Tech, Zora went 7-13 overall in singles action and finished her season on a high note with a straight-sets win in her final match. A Floridabianca, Colombia, native, Zora also went 4-8 in dual meet doubles matches, including a 3-5 mark during OVC play.

The Johnny Donnelly Maverick Award, named for the late Johnny Donnelly, was presented to Girling by his parents, John and Marty Donnelly of Cookeville. Johnny Donnelly was a true TTU sports fan who passed away in October of 1998 after a long-fought battle with muscular dystrophy. In 1999, he was first Golden Eagle fan to be inducted into the Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

The award is given annually to a member of either the men’s or women’s tennis team who exhibits the same kind of determination that Johnny showed.

Girling, a first-team all-OVC selection, earned his first career all-conference recognition after being the only Golden Eagle to post a perfect 7-0 record in OVC singles action. A junior from Winchester, England, Girling compiled a 15-9 record between the fall and spring seasons and finished the dual meet season strong, winning his last eight matches.

Girling also left his mark on the doubles court, teaming with Nicholas Stafford to record a 5-1 OVC record at No. 1 doubles.