CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Iowa Conference announced recently that Coe senior Tai Lucero (Odessa, Texas/Permian) has been selected IIAC Women's Tennis Player of the Year, while Coe assistant coach Kris Diehl has been selected the 2013 IIAC Women's Tennis Coach of the Year.
Lucero posted an 8-1 singles record overall during the fall season with the only blemish coming to Shelby Henderson of St. Thomas (Minn.) in the Round of 16 at the USTA/ITA Midwest Region Championship. She went 6-0 at No.1 singles including 5-0 in IIAC play. Lucero also posted a 10-2 mark in doubles (9-1 with Jordan Ferree (Pekin, Ill./Pekin), 1-1 with Tamara Washington (Corona, Calif./Norco)), competing at the No. 1 position. One defeat came at the hands of eventual ITA Midwest Region runners-up Mikayla Becich and Anne Lombardi of Carleton in the quarterfinals of the Midwest Regional championship.
Lucero was denied the chance to defend her individual titles after the 2013 Iowa Conference Individual Tournament in early October was canceled due to inclement weather. In all, Lucero advanced to five Flight A finals in six opportunities, winning two singles crowns (2010, 2012) and three doubles crowns (2010-11-12).
Lucero is one of three Coe student-athletes to be named Iowa Conference Player of the Year in women's tennis, joining four-time winner Molly Fiala (2005-06-07-08) and Michelle Schupbach (2011).
Diehl, in her fifth season as an assistant, helped guide Coe to a perfect 10-0 mark during the fall season, including a perfect 7-0 mark in IIAC play to secure the school's sixth Iowa Conference women's tennis title. The Kohawks will host the Iowa Conference NCAA Automatic Qualifier Tournament next April. This marks the sixth time a Coe coach has been named IIAC Women's Tennis Coach of the Year. Head coach Eric Rodgers received the previous five honors (2006-07-08-11-12).
The Iowa Conference also announced its 2013 All-Conference Women's Tennis Team. Four Coe players were named overall with Lucero, Ferree and Laura Birky (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier) being named in both singles and doubles and Amy Sebastian (Mundelein, Ill./Vernon Hills) being named in singles. Senior Elizabeth Hoffmann (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier) and sophomore Diannah Watson (Frisco, Texas/Lone Star) earned honorable mention honors from the league.
-The Iowa Conference contributed to this release