CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Junior Michelle Schupbach (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Columbus) has been named the Iowa Conference Women's Tennis Player of the Year, while Head Coach Eric Rodgers was named the IIAC Coach of the Year. Both awards were voted by the conference coaches.
Schupbach captured the Flight A singles title and teamed with 2010 IIAC Women's Tennis MVP Tai Lucero for the Flight A doubles title at the recent Iowa Conference Individual Championships. Entering the singles tournament as the top seed, she posted three straight-set victories before weathering a stiff test from Luther's Cami Czech in the final, eventually prevailing 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (4) to become the fourth different Coe player to capture the league's top singles title (Molly Fiala, 2005 & 2007; Hannah Jensen, 2008; Tai Lucero, 2010). Schupbach had finished runner-up to Lucero in the Flight A singles draw at the 2010 IIAC Championships.
Schupbach and Lucero entered as the top-seeded tandem in a Flight A doubles competition that saw all three seeded teams advance to the semifinals. The Kohawk duo defeated Luther's Cassandra Chalhoub and Elise Allen, 8-4, in the semifinals before topping the second-seeded tandem of Czech and Katy Lindstrom of Luther, 8-1, in the final. It was the second straight Flight A doubles title for Schupbach and Lucero and the third in succession for Schupbach, who also won in 2009 with older sister Andrea.
Schupbach is the third Coe student-athlete to be named Iowa Conference Player of the Year in women's tennis, joining four-time winner Molly Fiala (2005-06-07-08) and Lucero (2010).
She posted a 19-1 singles record overall during the fall season with the only blemish coming to Laurel Krebsbach of Gustavus Adolphus in the round of 16 at the USTA/ITA Midwest Region Championship. She posted a 18-1 mark in doubles with Lucero, competing at the No. 1 position. The only defeat came at the hands of eventual champions Kalla Schaefer and Alexandra Bayliss in the quarterfinal round of the Midwest Regional.
Rodgers guided Coe to a 13-0 mark during the fall season, including a perfect 8-0 record in IIAC play. The Kohawks posted a 5-1 semifinal win over No. 4-seed Wartburg before outlasting No. 2-seed and defending champion Luther, 5-4, in the Championship final to give Coe its fourth IIAC title in women's tennis. Coe's championship match win was the 600th of Rodgers' coaching career. This marks the fourth time Rodgers had been named IIAC Women's Tennis Coach of the Year (2006-2008). He is also a three-time IIAC Men's Tennis Coach of the Year (2003-2005).
-Release courtesy of the Iowa Conference Office