May 14, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Intercollegiate Tennis Association released its regional awards and three Boilermakers picked up Ohio Valley honors. Head coach Laura Glitz was named the Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year while Roberto Aspillaga picked up Assistant Coach of the Year honors and Lynda Xepoleas was named the Rookie of the Year.
Glitz has helped put Purdue women's tennis on the map. She is in her fifth year with the program and has helped the program break numerous records. This season the Boilermakers won 18 total dual matches. That mark eclipses the previous school record of 17 which Glitz's Boilermakers set in 2010. This year's team also won the school's first ever Big Ten Tournament Championship and was the first team that did not receive a first round bye to do so. During the tournament stretch, Purdue earned its three highest ranked program wins of all time with wins over No. 17 Nebraska, No. 11 Northwestern, and No. 15 Michigan.
Glitz, with the help of Aspillaga in this now his second year, also brought in the highest ranked recruiting class and individual in program history as Xepoleas and Daniela Vidal were tabbed the eighth best class in the country. Xepoleas was also the highest ranked recruit ever to attend Purdue as she was No. 8 in the nation.
Several other records have been set while Glitz has been at the helm. Jennifer Rabot became the all-time winningest doubles player. She and Mara Schmidt have the second most wins as a duo while Rabot and Michelle Sammons have the most wins as a pair during a single season. Rabot and Schmidt were ranked 13th in doubles a season ago which is the highest ranking in program history for any Purdue team or individual. Rabot also has the highest singles win in program history as she knocked off the 11th ranked player from Northwestern in 2011.
Glitz and Aspillaga have helped embrace the Purdue and surrounding communities. The team formed a fan section, "Glitz's Gallery," which has attracted a great number of supporters. The two also help organize an annual Breast Cancer Awareness match during the season. Aspillaga has also produced a number of award winning and nationally acclaimed instructional tennis videos which has released on his public YouTube channel. His videos have received hundreds of thousands of total views.
The coaching duo has brought Purdue back into the national picture. The team made its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance this season. That success is sure to continue as another top-20 recruiting class has been signed for the fall.
Xepoleas picks up her award after completing a remarkable freshman season. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native was 14-9 in dual match singles play with all but one match at No. 2, the other at No. 1. Xepolelas had eight consecutive singles wins from Feb. 4 to March 16. During that span, she helped the team go a perfect 8-0 including four wins over ranked foes.
Xepoleas' biggest win came in the Big Ten Tournament Finals. With the team score tied at three, she was the only Boilermaker left on the court and trailed 2-0 in the third set. Xepoleas caught the No. 85 ranked player in the nation, Brooke Bolender, and forced a tiebreak. Again Xepoleas fell behind, this time 4-2. However, the freshman pulled through and came out on top, 7-5, to win the match and the conference tournament for the Boilermakers. In all, Xepoleas had three ranked singles wins on the season.