As the UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis team prepares to head to the NCAA Tournament Friday, The Big West announced its major awards Wednesday.
Shakhnoza Khatamova won Player of the Year, Amelia Honer was named Freshman of the Year, and Simon Thibodeau took Coach of the Year as the Gauchos swept the conference’s major awards for the second year in a row.
Khatamova and Thibodeau both earned their respective honors for the second consecutive year. Honer followed in the footsteps of teammate Camille Kiss, 2021’s Freshman of the Year winner.
Khatamova went 20-12 overall, 16-5 in duals, and 5-1 in conference play. She is the highest ranked singles player from the Big West in the ITA rankings, sitting at No. 76 in the latest edition.
The Uzbekistan native not only made the All-Big West First Team as a singles player, but also as a doubles pair alongside her partner Elizaveta Volodko.
Khatamova qualified as a singles player in the upcoming NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship.
Honer went 23-10 overall, 16-5 in duals, and 7-0 in conference play. Honer was selected to the first team as a doubles pair alongside her partner Kira Reuter.
As a singles player, she was placed on the second team and won her final nine matches heading into the NCAA tournament
In his 10th year at the helm, Thibodeau led the Gauchos to a 17-6 overall record in the regular season and a perfect 9-0 record in conference play. UCSB only gave up a single point at The Big West Championship, defeating UC Irvine 4-0 in the quarterfinals, Cal State Fullerton 4-0 in the semifinals and Cal Poly 4-1 to win the title.
The Gauchos are ranked 24th as a team in the latest ITA rankings.
Santa Barbara’s Kiss and Elizaveta Volodko also earned honors, both being named to the second team for singles.
UCSB takes on Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 10 a.m. Friday at the Stanford Regional.
Daniel Messinger writes about sports for UCSB.