UHH’s Viriyapunt Named PacWest’s Top Tennis Newcomer

May 26, 2012, 8:38 AM HST
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University of Hawai’i at Hilo junior Melanie Viriyapunt was honored Friday by the PacWest Conference as the women’s tennis Newcomer of the Year.

The Kapolei High School graduate competed in the first singles and doubles positions for the young Vulcans, coached by Kula Oda. Viriyapunt had a 6-12 singles record and an 8-13 doubles record with Emelie Laussen.

Oda’s Vulcans went 5-14 last season, finished sixth in the regular season standings, and took fifth place in the PacWest Conference tournament, defeating Chaminade and Dixie State in the Dominican University-hosted event. They did this with no seniors on the squad, relying on two juniors, including Viriyapunt, two sophomores, and two freshmen.

Viriyapunt, originally from Santa Ana, Calif., was the only UH Hilo player to receive recognition from the PacWest office. Last year’s newcomer, I-Hsuan (Annie) Hwang og BYU-Hawai’i, earned Player of the Year honors in 2012, while Hwang’s teammate, Shoazhuo (Sherry) Liu, was awarded Freshman of the Year. BYU-Hawai’i’s Dave Porter was named Coach of the Year.

2012 PacWest Conference Women’s Tennis Awards


First Team (Singles)


Priscilla Annoual, Grand Canyon

Celina Goetti, Hawai‘i Pacific

I-Hsuan (Annie) Hwang, BYU-Hawai’i


Yuan Jia, BYU-Hawai’i

Shoazhuo (Sherry) Liu, BYU-Hawai’i

Zora Vlckova, Hawai’i Pacific

Second Team (Singles)

Yuka Kondo, Chaminade

Justine Majan, Grand Canyon

Katharina Mittag, Grand Canyon

Kunkanda Phukchampa, Academy of Art

Tanja Rebholz, BYU-Hawai’i

Magdalena Smejova, Hawai’i Pacific

First Team (Doubles)

Yuan Jia & Marietta Tuionetoa, BYU-Hawai’i

I-Hsuan (Annie) Hwang & Shoazhou (Sherry) Liu, BYU-Hawai’i

Magdalena Smejova & Vivian Hansen, Hawai’i Pacific

Second Team (Doubles)

Celina Goetti & Ielyzaveta Rybakova, Hawai’i Pacific

Yanita Arnaudova & Yuka Kondo, Chaminade

Katharina Mittag & Frederique Van de Velde, Grand Canyon

Kunkanda Phukchampa & Jenny Johannson, Academy of Art

Irinia Morozova & Gaby Verspieren, Dominican (CA)

Player of the Year – I-Hsuan (Annie) Hwang, BYU-Hawai’i

Newcomer of the Year – Melanie Viriyapunt, Hawai’i Hilo

Freshman of the Year – Shoazhuo (Sherry) Liu, BYU-Hawai’i

Coach of the Year – Dave Porter, BYU-Hawai’i

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