TEMPE, Ariz. – Kenyon College senior Diana Aboubakare and assistant coach Alvin Cheng were among the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) NCAA Division III Regional award winners. Aboubakare was tabbed the ITA Central Region Senior Player of the Year and Cheng was selected the tasc Performance ITA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Aboubakare, who will next week make her third straight appearance in the NCAA Division III Singles Championship, currently has an 18-5 record in singles play, including a 14-2 mark playing at Kenyon’s No. 1 spot in dual matches.
One week ago, Aboubakare was selected to her fourth career All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) first team and was named, for the second time in her career, the NCAC Player of the Year. She not only made the 2018 All-NCAC first team for singles play, but also the first team for doubles play with freshman teammate Erika Oku. Together, Aboubakare and Oku were 25-8 this season and were selected as an alternate team for the NCAA Division III Doubles Championship.
As she heads toward her final collegiate matches on the NCAA stage, Aboubakare carries with her a career 69-35 singles record and an 82-33 doubles record. Her singles output ties her for the 12th best in program history, while her doubles mark is tied for third-best in Ladies’ record book.
Cheng, hired at Kenyon prior to the 2012 season, has been instrumental in moving the Ladies from a 10-14 record his first season on campus to a 21-3 record this season. In each of the last two seasons, the Ladies won the NCAC Championship and advanced, as a team, to play in the NCAA Division III Championships for the first time since the 2008 campaign.
Since Cheng’s arrival, the Kenyon women’s tennis program has a produced a combined 92-64 record in seven seasons. In that same span, the Ladies went from a No. 31 rank in the ITA’s national poll to their current position at No. 22.