RICHMOND, Va. – Paola Exposito Diaz-Delgado's outstanding sophomore season continues to reap rewards. On Monday, Diaz-Delgado was named Atlantic 10 Conference Most Outstanding Performer to highlight a slew of VCU All-Conference honors. The Rams' Paul Kostin was also named A-10 Coach of the Year for the fifth time.
Diaz-Delgado, who is set to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship May 20-25 in Orlando, Fla., was one of three Rams named All-Atlantic 10 Conference First Team. The sophomore from Almeria, Spain has been nearly unstoppable this season. She's 36-4 in singles play and is currently ranked 77th nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Her 36 singles wins in 2018-19 rank second in school single-season only to Martina Nedelkova's school record of 48, set in 1997-98. Diaz-Delgado captured an ITA Atlantic Regional Singles Championship in October, and the sophomore was 20-1 in dual matches during the spring, all on the No. 1 court. She and teammate Sofia Sualehe were also named to the A-10 All-Academic Team.
For Kostin, the honor is just another in his legendary career. He led the Rams to their sixth A-10 Championship in seven seasons, as well as the program's 16th NCAA berth since 2002. VCU compiled an 18-6 record during the spring, and the Rams did not surrender a point on the way to their second straight A-10 crown.
Senior Anna Rasmussen and Marina Alcaide Bakkari joined Diaz-Delgado on First Team. Rasmussen capped her outstanding VCU career with a 13-10 singles mark in 2018-19. Rasmussen also won a team-high 18 doubles contests this year. Rasmussen's 66 career singles wins rank 13th all-time at VCU.
Alcaide Bakkari earned her second All-Conference award following a sophomore campaign in which she finished 20-5 in singles action, including 13-3 on the No. 3 court.
Juniors Noumea Witmus and Kanako Yano received All-Atlantic 10 Second Team citations for VCU. Yano's 22 singles victories were second only to Diaz-Delgado this year, while Witmus crafted a 19-11 singles mark, as well as a combined 13-9 record in doubles play.