SAN BRUNO, Calif. – The West Coast Conference has named Gonzaga freshman Sophie Whittle the West Coast Conference Women’s Singles Player of the Week and the Pepperdine duo of Jean Rungerldkriangkrai and Luisa Stefani the Women’s Doubles Team of the Week.
Whittle went 2-0 during Gonzaga’s first weekend of conference play, posting the clinching point in the Bulldogs’ comeback win against San Diego and the go-ahead point in their comeback against BYU. On Friday, the freshman beat San Diego’s Marta Stojanovic at No. 1 singles 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, putting the cap on Gonzaga’s first WCC match of the year and 10th dual win in a row. A day later, she beat BYU No. 1 Mayci Jones in two sets to put Gonzaga up 3-2 on the Cougars, a match they’d later win 4-2. The win against BYU was the first in Gonzaga program history, and it also marks the first time since 1999-2000 that the Zags started WCC play with a 2-0 record. In all, Whittle has 22 singles wins on the year, the most on the team and second-most among the conference’s freshmen players. She’s spent the entire dual season at No. 1 for Gonzaga.
Whittle’s selection makes it six times in eight weeks that a freshman has earned the conference’s Singles Player of the Week award this season.
The Pepperdine duo of Runglerdkriangkrai and Stefani helped the Waves to two wins this past week, first leading the team to a 4-3 win at Stanford on Tuesday before opening West Coast Conference play on Saturday with a 6-1 win over Loyola Marymount at home. First in the win over 20th-ranked Stanford in Palo Alto, the pair put down 2nd-ranked Taylor Davidson and Caroline Doyle with an impressive 6-3 result to clinch the doubles point and the win for Pepperdine. Then in the conference opener over PCH rivals LMU, the pair went toe-to-toe with Jessica Perez and Elvira Juravliova before the match was suspended at the 4-4 mark due to the Waves clinching the doubles point on the other two courts. The pair is now 14-3 overall, including an 8-2 record in dual competition this spring. The duo has tallied three wins over nationally ranked opponents and owns a 3-1 record in the number one doubles position and a 5-1 record in the number two doubles position for the Waves.
This marks the third time this season that Runglerdkriangkrai and Stefani have been named the Doubles Team of the Week.
Also Nominated Singles: Viktoriya Dzyuba, Pacific; Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine; Kareena Manji, Saint Mary’s; Colomba DiFilippo, San Diego
Also Nominated Doubles: Viktoriya Dzyuba and Anneroos Nederstigt, Pacific; Colomba DiFilippo and Shani Blecher, San Diego
2016 WCC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week
Week 1 (2/9) – Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine
Week 2 (2/16) – Viktoriya Dzyuba, Pacific
Week 3 (2/23) – Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine
Week 4 (3/1) – Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine
Week 5 (3/8) – Radina Dimitrova, Portland
Week 6 (3/15) – Samantha Polayes, Gonzaga
Week 7 (3/22) – Daniella Silva, Santa Clara
Week 8 (3/29) – Sophie Whittle, Gonzaga
2016 WCC Women’s Tennis Doubles Team of the Week
Week 1 (2/9) – Matea Cutura and Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine
Week 2 (2/16) – Toby Miclat and Mayci Jones, BYU
Week 3 (2/23) – Apichaya (Jean) Runglerdkriangkrai and Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine
Week 4 (3/1) – Apichaya (Jean) Runglerdkriangkrai and Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine
Week 5 (3/8) – Lucia Butkovska and Jelena Lazarevic, Portland
Week 6 (3/15) – Samantha Polayes and Sophie Whittle, Gonzaga
Week 7 (3/22) – Viktoriya Dzyuba and Anneroos Nederstigt, Pacific
Week 8 (3/29) – Apichaya (Jean) Runglerdkriangkrai and Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine