University of Hawai’i women’s tennis player Petra Melounova was one of 96 individuals to earn 2019 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) NCAA Division I All-American honors as announced on Thursday. She is the first UH men’s or women’s tennis player to earn All-America honors.
There are three ways that players can earn ITA All-America honors-earning a top 16 seed into the NCAA Singles Championship; advancing to the round of 16 at the NCAA Championship; or finishing in the top 20 of the final Oracle/ITA Singles Rankings. Last week, Melounova, a junior from Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic, advanced to the NCAA’s Round of 16 to become the first Big West since UC Santa Barbara’s Jean Okada accomplished the feat in 1996.
This year, Melounova was injured early, but battled back and figured out ways to compensate for drop serving all season due to a shoulder injury suffered in the fall. She finished the season with a 15-5 overall record. Her nine-match win streak was snapped in the NCAA sweet sixteen by Texas Tech’s No. 22 Felicity Maltby. Melounova finished the season ranked No. 52-the highest final ranking for any Rainbow Wahine.
Melounova’s record-breaking season included becoming the…
- First UH player to ever advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 16
- First UH player to ever compete in three NCAA Championships
- First player from the Big West Conference since 1996 to advance to NCAA Round of 16 (UC Santa Barbara’s Jean Okada)
- First UH player and just the third Big West player to earn three Big West Player of the Year honors
- Knocked off five higher-ranked opponents this season:
#34 Salma Ewing-USC
#30 Julia Rosenqvist – California
#86 Maddie Pothoff – Santa Clara
#60 Jessica Golovin (LSU)
#47 Chiara Lommer (Michigan).