BUFFALO, NY – University at Buffalo women's tennis assistant coach Smaranda Stan has been named the ITA Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year, the organization announced late Monday. Stan helped guide the Bulls to their second MAC Title and NCAA appearance in school history.
Stan took on an increased role for the 2017 season as head coach Kristen Maines was on maternity leave for part of the year. Stan continued to get the Bulls primed for the MAC season where UB went 5-3. After losing the first three conference matches, the Bulls won eight straight matches, including the last five in the regular season and three straight in the conference tournament.
She helped the Bulls get two players honored by the league as Tanja Stojanovska was named to the All-MAC First Team and Chantal Martinez Blanco was named to the second team. Stojanovska was also named the Most Valuable Player of the MAC Tournament and freshman Emel Abibula was named to the All-Tournament team.
While being successful on the court, Stan also help the team remain successful in the classroom as a trio of sophomores earned Academic All-MAC honors in Martinez Blanco, Mercedes Losada Rubio, and Sanjana Sudhir.
This was the second time that Stan has been part of a MAC Championship women's tennis team as she was a junior on the squad that won in 2008, where she was named the tournament's most valuable player.
"Smaranda has been integral to our success both on and off the court," said Maines. "She will be on the court for eight or nine hours if that is what the team needs. Over the past few years she's expanded her role into recruiting and running a great fall tournament here at UB. Her passion for tennis is contagious, her work ethic is second to none, and her compassion for this team is what makes her such a great coach. I am so pleased that the ITA has recognized Smaranda for her hard work and devotion to this sport."
This is her second time being honored by the ITA as she was named the ITA East Region Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship following her senior year.