SKILLMAN, N.J. --- North Carolina's Gina Suarez-Malaguti, Whitney Kay and Sara Anundsen earned ITA Carolina Region awards, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced Tuesday. Suarez-Malaguti was named Senior Player of the Year, Kay earned Rookie of the Year honors and Anundsen grabbed the Assistant Coach of the Year award.
The 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, Suarez-Malaguti exploded onto the national scene as a senior. After playing mostly in the bottom half of the Tar Heel singles lineup for three seasons, Suarez-Malaguti emerged as a top player in the fall and has solidified the top spot for Carolina in the spring. The Pembroke Pines, Fla., product is 26-7 overall in singles with a sparkling 15-4 mark in dual match play. Earlier this month she earned the No. 7 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship to ensure ITA All-America honors for the first time in her career.
Kay has been a keystone of the Tar Heel lineup from day one as a freshman. After a strong fall, Kay earned ITA National Indoor Championship MVP honors after winning a pair of clinching matches to lead UNC to its first team national title. The Alpharetta, Ga., newcomer has compiled an incredible singles record of 31-11 that includes a dual match record of 19-3. In addition to her success in singles, Kay has also been a strong doubles player, winning 30 doubles matches so far in 2012-13.
Anundsen has firmly established herself as perhaps the nation's top assistant. A former All-America and national champion as a player at Carolina, Anundsen teamed with four-time ACC Coach of the Year Brian Kalbas to build one of the country's most successful programs. In 2013, Carolina won its second ACC regular season title in four years and capped a four-year run that featured a 40-4 mark in conference play. Anundsen won the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2011.
Suarez-Malaguti, Kay, Anundsen and the rest of the Tar Heels will return to action Friday in the NCAA round of 16. No. 2 Carolina faces No. 15 Nebraska at 8 p.m. ET for a spot in Sunday's quarterfinals.