Cooke earns second selection to NCAA Championship in Brandeis history
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 00:05
Carley Cooke ’15, in just her first season of play for the women’s tennis team, has made quite the statement. In addition to a 16-5 record at the No. 1 slot this season, Cooke was named University Athletic Association Rookie of the Year for women’s tennis.
She topped off her honors last week with a selection to compete at the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Individual Championships at Meredith College in Cary, N.C.
Cooke attributed her success to the rigorous team practice schedule, as well as her individual training with Coach Ben Lamanna.
“As a team, we trained so hard in the fall and the offseason that I think we were in great shape going into our spring season,” she said. “I also played a lot individually with my coach, which I think helped as well.”
Cooke is just the third Brandeis women’s tennis player to be selected for the NCAA Championships in the Judges’ history, along with Abby Lerner ’05 and Jane Chae ’05. She is also one of just 32 individuals selected from Division III schools to compete at the national level.
“It's really great to be able to represent Brandeis at NCAAs as a [firstyear],” she said. “It's an honor to get to go and play at the highest level possible in Division III, and I'm just really excited!”
Lamanna noted how impressed he was with Cooke’s accomplishments but also stated that he looks forward to mentoring Cooke throughout her next three years at Brandeis.
“This is a terrific opportunity for Carley,” said Lamanna. “I am excited to have this opportunity to work with her this year and to see her progression throughout her career. Carley is everything Brandeis could ask for in a student-athlete.”
Cooke, at the top slot, led the Judges to a No. 19 ranking in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and an eventual fifth place finish at the UAA Championships.
In addition to her singles play, Cooke was distinguished by her doubles play with Faith Broderick ’13. The duo was named as an alternate to the Division III Doubles Championships. Cooke and Broderick, also at the No. 1 spot for the Judges, earned a team-best 14-5 mark in dual play. The duo is seeking to become the second pairing in the Judges’ history to be selected to the NCAA Tournament, along with Lerner and Colleen Donnelly ’08, who accomplished the feat in 2005.
With the tournament approaching, Cooke stated that she must work on intensifying her training regimen to prepare for the tough competition.
“Over the next couple weeks or so, I'm looking to improve my fitness and get more mentally tough to be ready to compete against the best in the country,” Cooke stated.