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    Illini Tennis Celebrates Season at Annual Awards Banquet
    Senior Dennis Nevolo earned 2012 MVP honors for the men's team.

    Senior Dennis Nevolo earned 2012 MVP honors for the men's team.

    May 2, 2012

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois men's and women's tennis teams honored the season's accomplishments at the 19th annual Advantage Illinois Tennis Awards Banquet Monday evening at the I-Hotel. Awards were voted on by players, coaches and support staff associated with the teams.

    Senior Dennis Nevolo was named men's Advantage Illinois Most Valuable Player for the 2011-12 season. Nevolo leads the team in singles wins with 28, playing primarily at the No. 1 spot. He secured his fourth straight 20-win season, matching a career-high 13 wins over nationally ranked opponents. Nevolo has been ranked all year, holding the No. 8 spot in singles and No. 28 in doubles with partner Roy Kalmanovich. The Gurnee, Ill., native recently earned first-team All-Big Ten recognition, marking the fourth of his career.

    On the women's side, freshman Melissa Kopinski, a first-team All-Big Ten honoree, was selected Advantage Illinois Most Valuable Player. Kopinski boasts a team-leading 23-8 record in singles, including a 7-2 mark in conference matches while playing primarily on courts two and three. She also posted a solid season in doubles, going 22-8 overall and 9-2 in the Big Ten.

    Junior Bruno Abdelnour took home the men's Scholar-Athlete Award for the second year in a row, along with senior Chelcie Abajian for the women. Freshman siblings Tim and Melissa Kopinski were both tabbed Players to Watch for their respective teams, while Tim also received Most Improved Player alongside sophomore Allison Falkin.

    In addition, Abdelnour garnered the Chris Martin Fighting Illini Spirit Award, while senior Amy Allin received the women's Brianna Knue Fighting Illini Spirit Award. Juniors Stephen Hoh and Rachael White and senior Marisa Lambropoulos took home the Strength and Conditioning award, and Tom Sternburg was named Advantage Illinois Honorary Member to wrap up the night.

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