Dayananda earns NCAA singles berth: Sports Shorts 5/5/06

By Kate Fratar

The accolades keep pouring in for first-year Vindya Dayananda, proving that the sky is the limit for the tennis sensation as the team heads into the first postseason appearance of the program’s history.

On May 1, the UAA named Dayananda the 2006 Rookie of the Year after she notched a 2–1 mark at the league championships April 21–23. The good news kept coming for the newcomer with her selection to the NCAA Division III singles competition announced May 4. She flies out to the sunny West Coast later this month for the big tournament hosted by the University of California–Santa Cruz May 20–22.

“She has had a very good year and played a really tough schedule,” head coach Marty Perry said. “Her game has gotten better from match to match and she should go in with confidence and goals to do well.”

A cornerstone of the young 2005–2006 squad, Dayananda has blitzed through opponents and torn up the courts in her debut season with Chicago. The Kathmandu, Nepal native posted a 19–9 overall record on the year with a 16–6 mark at first singles for the Maroons. She has been recognized throughout Chicago and the league as a key force behind the team’s success in its 15–8 season.

At this point, Dayananda doesn’t have a seeding for the big tournament, and a bracket will not be determined until the day before the event in case players drop out of the competition. Depending on how the squad does in the first round of play of the 26-team NCAA Division III Championship this weekend in St. Peter, Minnesota, it could be joining her in the Golden State for the national quarterfinals May 17–19.

—Kate Fratar