CINCINNATI - University of Cincinnati senior tennis student-athlete Kelly Poggensee-Wei has been named the recipient of the ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship for the Ohio Valley Region, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced Monday, May 15. By earning this honor, Poggensee-Wei is now a finalist for the national award and gives UC its first ITA award (regional and national) in program history.
“This is such a nice honor for Kelly to end her career on,” Head Coach Eric Toth said of his graduating senior. “She is very deserving of this. Kelly has always commanded a great deal of respect from her peers and coaches alike in her ability to play fairly and in treating her opponents with respect while performing in competitive environments. I think what may have set Kelly apart in this particular year was her response to an injury which really set her back and almost curtailed her time as a student-athlete here at UC. To come back and have the senior year that Kelly had, playing a demanding schedule and competing in a tough conference, is one of better comeback stories I have ever had a chance to see up close as a coach. This recognition is something that Kelly can be proud of and take a lot of pride in.”
The ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship, which was first awarded in 1997, has been presented annually to a Division I women’s player who displays inspiring dedication and commitment to her team, which has enhanced her team’s performance and exemplified the spirit of college tennis. The award is named for the late and widely admired Cissie Leary, who was the women’s tennis coach at Penn.
Poggensee-Wei, who missed the 2016 season because of injury, recently capped her playing career with the Bearcats by posting a 16-5 dual record in singles played to a 17-5 mark in doubles in her senior campaign. A two-time American Athletic All-Conference honoree (2015 and 2017), Poggensee-Wei played her senior season at the No. 2 singles position and recorded a 3-1 mark in conference matches. She finished the year with an eight-match winning streak and was also named the team’s Most Valuable Player.
With her play and that of her teammates the Bearcats put together a 17-7 overall record during their 2016-17 campaign, breaking the school record for the most spring wins in a season, topping the 2009 total of 16. UC went undefeated during the regular season in the month of April and rolled off 10-straight wins from March 24 to April 19. UC also put together an 11-1 record against Ohio Valley Regional opponents and was 5-0 against teams in the state of Ohio.
A full release of regional award winners can be found at the ITA’s web site (ITATennis.com) and by following this link: http://www.itatennis.com/Awards_4114/ITA_Award_Winners/2017_DI_Regional_Awards.htm