Four FMU tennis players named ITA All-Americans

Florence, SC - From Francis Marion University

FLORENCE, SC – Four Francis Marion University tennis players were recently named to the 2010 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) NCAA Division II All-America Team.

Senior Dilshod Sharifi and junior Oshada Wijemanne were named to the men's All-America squad for both singles and doubles play. Both earn these national honors for the second consecutive year.

Senior Tereza Sykorova becomes a three-time All-America as she was named to the women's team for her singles and doubles play, and junior Sabina Baberadova earned All-America recognition for her doubles play.

Sharifi, a native of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, was 15-1 in singles play, mainly at his team's No. 1 position, and ended the year ranked third in Division II. Sharifi was 8-1 in the tough Peach Belt Conference, and his lone loss was to the player who ended the year ranked No. 1.

Wijemanne, a native of Colombo, Sri Lanka, was 11-4, mostly at the No. 2 spot, and was ranked 18th nationally.

Sharifi and Wijemanne combined efforts for a 10-7 doubles record at the No. 1 position and garnered a No. 8 national ranking at the end of the year. Seven of their matches were against nationally ranked opponents.

Sykorova, a native of Prague, Czech Republic, was 16-4 while occupying her team's No. 1 singles position for most of the year. She finished 2010 ranked 10th in Division II.

Baberadova, a native of Brno, Czech Republic, teamed with Sykorova to post a 20-3 doubles record at the No. 1 position, including a 10-2 mark in PBC play. They ended the season ranked fourth nationally, with two of their three losses coming at the hands of the No. 1 ranked doubles duo.

The Francis Marion men posted a 12-8 mark this past year, advanced to the finals of the NCAA Southeast Regional Tournament, and ended the season ranked 15th nationally. The Patriots women (17-6) also advanced to the finals of the NCAA Southeast Regional Tournament and were ranked 13th in the final ITA national poll.

Baberadova is the ninth All-American in the history of the Patriot women's program, joining Siobhan Murnane (1992), Mary Hirst (1992, 1993, 1994), Lee Whitwell (1993, 1994, 1996), Orsolya Somorjai (1998, 1999), Annamaria Atamaniuk (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), Kristyna Horakova (2009), Jitka Gavdunova (2009), and Sykorova (2008, 2009, 2010).

There have been eight All-Americans within the Patriot men's tennis program: Sharifi (2009, 2010), Wijemanne (2009, 2010), Kevin Taylor (2006), Mark Bube (2000, 2001, 2002), Sollie Nortje (2000, 2001), Laszlo Leiter (1999), Sam Lundkvist (1995, 1996, 1997), and Garth Thomson (1989, 1990).