ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – Redshirt Freshman Nandini Sharma has been awarded American Athletic Conference Player of the Week.
Sharma has been on fire as of late, as she went 3-0 in singles and 3-0 in doubles over the weekend. After playing as a No. 5 or No. 6 player for most of the season, Sharma got the call to play at the No. 4 position twice this weekend. She did not disappoint, winning both her matches at the fourth spot in the lineup.
Sharma began the week at No. 5 taking on Tulane’s Christina Sisti. Sharma made quick work of Sisti, defeating her 6-0, 6-1. In the second match of UCF’s double header on Friday, Sharma bumped up to the No. 4 spot, taking down Miami of Ohio’s Priyana Kalita 6-1, 6-0. Sunday’s match saw Sharma win again at the fourth position, winning 6-3, 6-1.
Doubles play came just as easy for Sharma and her new doubles partner Marie Mattel this weekend. The two have played many doubles matches, but this weekend was the first time Sharma and Mattel were paired together.
Friday’s double header saw Sharma and Mattel win 6-2 at the No. 3 position against Tulane and 6-0 against Miami of Ohio’s No. 2 pair. Sunday saw Sharma and Mattel pick up another win at doubles position No. 3, winning 6-4.
Sharma has had an outstanding rookie campaign to this point, going 12-1 in singles and 7-1 in doubles. She is riding a 10-match winning streak in singles and is a perfect 8-0 combined at the fourth and fifth spot. She is tied for the team lead in wins this spring with Valeriya Zeleva who has spent all of her time at the top spot in the lineup.
The Knights have now had three players awarded AAC Player of the Week. Zeleva won the honor twice in three weeks before Ksenia Kuznetsova earned the nod as well. This is the first time that three separate Knights have won the award in the same season.
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