SKILLMAN, N.J. (HawaiiNewsNow) – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced its list of academic honorees for 2011-12 with four University of Hawai‘i women's tennis players earning recognition. Martina Kostalova, Barbara Pinterova, Katarina Poljakova, and Aglae Van den Bergh all were tabbed ITA Scholar-Athletes for their efforts on the court and in the classroom.
The Rainbow Wahine had a banner season in 2011-12 with a series of program "firsts." UH earned a ranking in the ITA polls for the first time ever; captured its first ever Western Athletic Conference tournament title; and advanced to its first NCAA tournament. The Rainbow Wahine finished the season ranked at No. 54. All four ITA Scholar-Athlete honorees were key contributors to UH's epic run into the post-season.
Van den Bergh, a senior from Leuven, Belgium, earned her third straight ITA Scholar-Athlete award to cap a solid senior season. In doubles, Van den Bergh was 11-7 in dual matches and in singles she posted a 10-13 overall record with a 7-7 mark at No. 6—including a clutch three-set victory in the WAC championship match against Fresno State that catapulted the ‘Bows into the NCAA tournament. Van den Bergh also was named to her third straight WAC All-Academic team earlier this summer.
Fellow senior, Pinterova, capped her collegiate career off with her second-straight ITA Scholar-Athlete accolade. A business major and native of Bratislava, Slovakia, Pinterova came to Hawai‘i as a sophomore transfer from Florida. She earned all-WAC first-team honors after leading UH this past season playing majority of her matches at both No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles with partner Jamie Pawid. In singles action, she tallied a 15-11 overall record and was 10-7 at the No. 1 slot, while in doubles she carded a 16-10 record and was 8-5 after moving to No. 1. Pinterova is also a three-time WAC All-Academic player.
Poljakova also was named to her second straight ITA Scholar-Athlete team and was also selected to her third WAC All-Academic team. Poljakova, a junior from Vysoke Tatry, Slovakia, played both No. 1 and No. 2 singles and doubles this season and was a steadying force down the stretch for the ‘Bows finishing with an 11-6 record at No. 2 singles. She is a two-time first-team all-WAC player in singles.
Kostalova, a freshman who is also from Vysoke Tatry, Slovakia, proved her mettle on the court in her rookie season, posting team-best overall records in both singles (21-9) and doubles (17-10). At the WAC tournament, UH won all three of its matches 4-3. Kostalova provided the clincher in their opening match against Nevada in the quarterfinals with a come-from-behind, three-set win at No. 4, in a match that was suspended until the next morning due to inclement weather. Kostalova saved UH again in the semifinals against Idaho, with another come-from-behind, three-set win to secure UH's first championship match appearance. For her efforts in the WAC tourney, she was voted to the all-tournament team. Kostalova also earned Academic All-WAC honors this year as a freshman.
Since Jun Hernandez became the UH's women's tennis head coach in January 2006, the Rainbow Wahine have earned 22 ITA Scholar-Athlete honors from 13 different players. Eight Rainbow Wahine have earned multiple ITA Scholar-Athlete awards—including Pinterova, Poljakova and Van den Bergh.
In order to earn ITA Scholar Athlete status a player must be a varsity letterwinner, have a grade point average of at least 3.5 for the current academic year, and have been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters.