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AKRON, Ohio – Zara Harutyunyan, University of Akron tennis player from 2009-12, has been honored as the No. 9 UA Female Athlete of all-time, Akron's Title IX committee announced Tuesday.
"In my opinion, Zara has been the most influential women's tennis player to come out of our program," said head coach Brandon Padgett, who mentored her as a junior and sophomore. "Shattering all Akron and MAC records is impressive, but her ability to intimidate opponents was perhaps even more impressive. It was truly an honor to have coached her."
Harutyunyan, who recently finished her undergraduate degree after completing her eligibility in May 2012, closed her collegiate career as the program and Mid-American Conference's all-time leader in wins with 242 (126 singles, 116 doubles). Her total singles and doubles victories are also career-bests by a Zips tennis player.
A three-time MAC Player of the Year (2009, 2010, 2011), she helped the program to its first-ever MAC tournament championship in 2011 and a repeat title in 2012. The first freshman to win the league's POTY award and the only student-athlete in program history to do so, she was also a four-time First Team All-MAC selection and was named to the MAC All-Tournament Team in 2011 (MVP) and 2012.
Along with career records, Harutyunyan set various program single-season marks. Her 37 singles victories as a freshman in 2008-09 set the program's single-season record as did her 34 doubles wins as a senior in 2011-12 (bettering the record of 33 she won in 2008-09). As a sophomore, she was the first player in program history and only the fourth player in 30 years of MAC tennis to qualify individually for the NCAA Singles Championship. Also during her sophomore season she was the first player in school history to finish the season in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's national rankings (No. 111).
Harutyunyan is currently working on her masters degree and is a graduate assistant in the University's sports science/coaching program.