Tachibana Named Women’s Tennis MVP, Whelan Earns Most Improved

The Harvard women's tennis team celebrated its season with a banquet at Dillon Fieldhouse (photo Harvard Athletic Communications).

 The Harvard women's tennis team presented its team awards during its annual banquet at Dillon Fieldhouse. Hideko Tachibana was named the team's Most Valuable Player and Kelly Whelan was honored as the Most Improved Player.

Tachibana, a co-captain for the Crimson, was selected as Harvard's MVP after going 10-9 in singles and 17-8 in doubles. The junior played the majority of her matches in the No. 1 position of both singles and doubles, en route to a unanimous All-Ivy League singles selection. It was the her second appearance on the All-Ivy team after being named Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2010.

Tachibana was also named a co-captain for next year's team, along with classmate Kristin Norton.

Whelan produced a 6-4 singles mark and a 13-8 record in doubles during her first season in Cambridge. She made an immediate impact on the team during the Ivy League season by tallying two singles wins (2-0) and four doubles victories (4-2) to help Harvard to a third-place finish. Two of her doubles wins during the Ancient Eight season came in the No. 1 spot alongside Tachibana.

The strength and conditioning staff also presented a pair of awards at the banquet. Samantha Gridley earned the Strength and Conditioning Most Outstanding award and Norton was the team's Strength and Conditioning Most Improved honoree.

In other awards, Caroline Davis '12 was presented the Richard S. Chute '60 Community Service Award.

2011-12 Harvard Women's Tennis Team Awards
Most Valuable Player - Hideko Tachibana
Most Improved - Kelly Whelan
Strength and Conditioning Most Outstanding - Samantha Gridley
Strength and Conditioning Most Improved - Kristin Norton
Richard S. Chute '60 Community Service Award - Caroline Davis '12