Release courtesy of denverpioneers.com and omavs.com
Sophomore Taylor Melville and freshman Britt Pursell of the Denver Pioneers women's tennis team won ITA Mountain Regional awards following the conclusion of the abbreviated 2020 spring season, the ITA announced on Monday.
Melville was named ITA Player to Watch for the mountain region after leading the Crimson & Gold in her first season with the Pioneers. The sophomore transfer from Duluth, Georgia went 12-2 at No. 1 singles and 11-5 at No. 1 doubles. Her highlight singles win came in Denver's 4-3 upset of then-No. 25 South Carolina on Feb. 16, a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win against then-No.25 Mia Horvit. She was a three-time Summit League player of the week last season, ranked as high as 69th in the nation alongside doubles partner Hada Chang in February and was named Team MVP earlier this month.
Pursell was tabbed ITA Rookie of the Year for the mountain region after playing a key role in the Pioneers' 12-4 season. The Oceanside, Calif. native went 11-5 at No. 3 singles and 3-0 at No. 3 doubles to add consistent depth to Denver's lineup. She was one of only two freshmen on the roster and saw action in every match.
The University of Nebraska Omaha women's tennis program was recognized with a spot on the ITA Central Region Community Service Award Honorable Mention list.
The Mavericks join Kansas State and Wichita State for the honorable mention honors, while Arkansas won the ITA Central Region Community Service Award.
"I'm really proud of the team being named honorable mention," said Director of Tennis Adam Summitt. "I think it's important for our players to get out in the community and give back. Credit to the players as they were the ones getting out there and wanting to do this. It speaks loudly to their character. We hope to get out more next year and increase our hours."
Despite a shortened season, the Mavericks saw their best start in the Division I era with a 10-4 record and went a perfect 5-0 at home.