Rachel Cantor Named NEC Rookie of the Year, Three Bobcats Named All-NEC

HAMDEN, Conn. - Quinnipiac University freshman women's tennis player Rachel Cantor (Short Hills, N.J.) was named the 2010 Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year to headline three Bobcats named All-NEC, the league office today announced. Cantor was also named First-Team All-NEC at No. 2 singles, joining Adrienne Markison (Princeton, N.J.), who earned the same honor at No. 3 singles. Markison was also named First-Team All-NEC at No. 1 doubles with partner Mary Wilson (Greensburg, Pa.). Cantor's Rookie of the Year honor signifies the third straight year that a Quinnipiac player has taken the award, joining Natalie Duckor (North Tustin, Calif.) last year and Markison two years ago.

Wilson became a seven-time All-NEC selection with the honor, while Markison has been All-NEC in both singles and doubles in each of her three years for six awards.

Cantor went 16-7 in her freshman campaign, including an undefeated 3-0 in NEC matches at No. 2. She posted a 10-5 record in dual matches, including a win in her only match at No. 1. Cantor defeated Fairleigh Dickinson's Elmine Botes, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4, and was up a set on Long Island's Linn Sjogren before the second set was halted at 4-4 in the NEC Tournament Semifinals. She also earned straight-sets victories over Bryant's Valerie Couto Cuervo and Sacred Heart's Darcy Demers, and took the first set against Saint Francis' (Pa.) Stephanie Rivera, 6-2, before it was halted early in the second. In the first year of the award, Cantor won NEC Rookie of the Week a league-best six times. The next closest competitors were LIU's Aleksandra Pavlovic and Bryant's Claudia Hidalgo with two each.

"I'm very proud of Rachel and the way she played all season," said Quinnipiac Head Coach Michael Quitko. "I knew that when we recruited her, we had a budding star and she's a force to be reckoned with."

The Bobcats' team MVP in 2009-10, Markison was the Bobcats' steadiest singles player, compiling a 17-4 record. Included in the mark was a 13-2 record out the No. 3 position and an unblemished 5-0 mark against NEC competition. Rarely was she pushed this season, going to a third set just once before beating Army's Jessica Ahn at the Quinnipiac Invitational. Fairleigh Dickinson's Julia Prantl was the only NEC competitor to take more than one game in a set off Markison, but the Bobcats' junior defeated Prantl, 7-5, 6-4, March 31 in Teaneck, N.J. Markison breezed past Bryant's Morganne Downing (6-1, 6-0), Sacred Heart's Elizabeth Harrington (6-0, 6-1), Saint Francis' (Pa.) (6-0, 6-1) and LIU's Aleksandra Pavlovic (6-1, 6-1).

"Adrienne's been a solid, steady performer and the rock of the team," said Quitko. "She's given me three great years and I know she'll be giving me another one. She's one of the finest student-athletes who has ever played for me."

Markison and Wilson went 10-3 together at No. 1 doubles this season, including wins in seven of their last eight matches to become a three-time All-NEC doubles combination. The Bobcats were All-NEC First-Team selections in 2008, before a second-team nod in 2009. The duo's only loss to NEC foes came to FDU's Elmine Botes and Julija Korshunova, 8-6, on March 31 in Teaneck. In total, the Bobcats' top duo went 4-1 against league foes, with wins against Bryant, Sacred Heart, Saint Francis (Pa.) and Long Island. Markison and Wilson's 8-4 win against LIU in the NEC Semifinals came a year after the pair fell to LIU's top duo, 8-1. In going 4-1 against NEC competition, only FDU took more than four games from the Bobcats' pair.

"I think Adrienne and Mary have had three great years together," said Quitko. "They've been a solid doubles team, both in and out of the NEC. We will miss Mary as she graduates and wish her the best. I know Adrienne will continue to be successful in doubles by anchoring a new team in her senior season."