Nikki Walbright named GLIAC Women's Tennis Coach of the Year
October 28, 2012 - Eighteen months ago, there was no such thing as a women's tennis program at Hillsdale College. Sunday, that program assumed its place among the top of the GLIAC.
Hillsdale finished its second season of competition by defeating Ashland University 5-3 in the final day of the 2012 GLIAC Tournament in Midland, Mich. The win gave the Chargers fifth place in the final conference standings for the season.
Head coach Nikki Walbright, who wasn't even hired until the summer of 2011, capped this remarkable ascension by being named the 2012 GLIAC Coach of the Year. Walbright led Hillsdale to an overall record of 11-6 this season, after the team went 3-11 in its first season of competition in 2011.
Three of Hillsdale's players also received conference-wide recognition. For the second year in a row, senior Brittany Parks was named First-Team All-GLIAC. Parks' singles match Sunday went unfinished, since the Chargers had already clinched the team victory over the Eagles. But she teamed up with Morgan Delp on a well-played 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles, a key result for the team's win in the fifth-place match.
Morgan Delp repeated her Second-Team All-GLIAC honor from a year ago, and finished the season with a singles and doubles record of 26-8, going 13-4 on each side of the ledger.
Sydney Delp joined the All-GLIAC party with an honorable mention All-GLIAC award in her freshman season. She went 11-6 in her singles matches, and 12-5 at No. 2 doubles along with Lindsay Peirce. Sydney Delp was a 6-4, 6-0 winner at No. 3 singles vs. Ashland, and teamed up with Peirce for an 8-0 shutout at No. 2 doubles in the tournament match.
Junior Morgan Linden provided a big win for Hillsdale for the second day in a row at the GLIAC Tournament, pulling out a 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 win to help the Chargers wrap up the win.
Ashland beat Hillsdale 5-4 during the regular season and entered the conference tournament as the number four seed, compared to Hillsdale's six seed.
Photos courtesy of Shannon O'Hearn and Nathan Parks