Purushotham Puts it on the Line, Notches A-Sun Award

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

MACON, Ga. – Unnati Purushotham enjoyed an unbeaten weekend in home matches against Troy and Georgia Southern to lead Stetson to a pair of victories. For her performance, Purushotham claimed the first Player of the Week award of her career, the conference office announced Wednesday.

The junior business administration major and her doubles partner, sophomore Shannon Gunning earned 8-6 and 8-5 victories, respectively, Saturday against Troy and Sunday versus Georgia Southern. The duo owns a 3-0 mark on the season. At No. 2 singles, Purushotham earned the match-clinching victory against Georgia Southern Sunday beating Natalie Maffett, 6-3, 6-3, as the Hatters rolled past the Eagles, 6-1. A day earlier against Troy, the Hyderabad, India native’s 6-1, 6-3 victory versus Lauren Simpson at the No. 2 slot tied the match at 1-1 and set the stage for Stetson to rally past the Trojans, 4-3.

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The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.

Other Top Performers
Aline Berkenbrock, UNF (So. - No. I Singles - Sao Bernardo de Campo, Brazil - Nutrition) – Berkenbrock played at No. 1 singles for UNF, defeating Daria Sekerina of South Carolina State. After falling behind in the first set 1-6, Berkenbrock came back to defeat Sekerina, 6-2, 6-0.

Agatha Palider, Kennesaw State (Jr. - No. 3 Doubles - Mississauga, Ontario - Undeclared) – Palider notched an undefeated weekend for KSU as she led the Owls to their first win of the season. The junior picked up wins in singles against Wright State and Dayton, as well as partnering with Ayano Tanaka in doubles to pick up a win in No. 3 doubles against Dayton. The Mississauga, Ontario native’s match against Dayton marked a comeback win after being down 6-3, 5-1. Palider then came back to win six-straight games in the second set and went on to win, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Francisca Valderrama, USC Upstate (Fr. - No. 2 Singles - Santiago, Chile - Undeclared) – Valderrama debuted with a singles and a doubles win in USC Upstate's 5-2 win against Presbyterian. The Santiago, Chile native paced the Spartans’ attack with partner Monica Pezzotti at No. 1 doubles, posting an 8-2 win versus Paige Oelke and Heather Heusel, in addition to a win at No. 2 singles. Valderrama overcome a 5-0 second-set deficit and a stomach bug to post a 6-2, 7-5 win against Olivia McMillan.

Andrea Voinea, UNF (Jr. - No. 5 Singles - Brasov, Romania - Business) – After dropping her close singles match at No. 54 Virginia Tech Saturday, Voinea continued her clutch play the Lady Bucs win over ranked No. 57 Georgia State Sunday. With the score tied at 3-3 all eyes turned to the final match of the day with the native of Brasov, Romania and Linda Hricistova. Voinea held the early lead in the first set after the third-year Lady Buc tired to serve out at 5-4. Unfortunately for ETSU, the Georgia State sophomore held strong by breaking Voinea’s serve and tying the set at 5-5. With the momentum on her side Hricistova then took the remaining two games for the first-set 7-5 win. With Voinea’s back against the wall, the former all-conference player reacted by crushing Hricistova in the final two sets 6-2, 6-1. With the victory and the business major’s valuable performance, ETSU became the first A-Sun team this season with a ranked win.