May 15, 2009
PROVIDENCE, RI - Brown women's tennis coach Paul Wardlaw, who just completed his fifth year at the helm of the Bears' tennis program, has been named the East Regional Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year. Wardlaw has been steadily rebuilding the Brown tennis program since his arrival in the fall of 2004, and guided the Bears to a 19-4 record this season, after posting an 11-9 mark in 2008, Brown's first winning season since 2005 when the Bears were also 11-9.
The 19-win season marks the highest win total for the Bears since the 1997 team went 19-3, matching the school record for wins in a season, while their 5-2 mark in the Ivy League is the best since the 1997 team went 7-0. The Bears were ranked as high as #58 in the country this season, entering the national rankings for the first time since 2004 after earning a 4-3 win over then #41 Yale.
In addition, Wardlaw had two doubles teams ranked in the national rankings, as the team of senior Sara Mansur (Houston, TX) and freshman Carissa Aboubakare (Orange, CA) was ranked as high as #64 and the team of sophomore Bianca Aboubakare (Orange, CA) and freshman Cassandra Herzberg (Miami Beach, FL) appeared as high as #67. Brown's other doubles team of juniors Emily Ellis (Fort Worth, TX) and Kathrin Sorokko (Douglaston, NY), also played a big part in the team's success this year, as the duo broke the Brown record for doubles wins in a season by a single team, earning a 20-11 record and surpassing the mark of 19 doubles wins, set last year by Bianca Aboubakare and sophomore Marisa Schonfeld (Washington, DC).
Over the past two seasons, Wardlaw's student-athletes have made their mark in the Brown record books. Herzberg's 26 singles wins this season rank fifth all-time at Brown, while Bianca Aboubakare's 24 singles wins are 12th all-time, while her 28 from 2008 are second all-time. Four players posted at least 22 doubles wins this season, Bianca Aboubakare (24), Carissa Aboubakare (22), Herzberg (22), and Mansur (22) and rank in Brown's all-time top four for doubles wins in a season. Herzberg and Bianca Aboubakare both earned 48 combined victories in 2009, a mark that is fourth all-time at Brown.