ITA senior player of the year Natalie Espinal | Nova Northeastern

ita Senior player of the year

Natalie Espinal has been a consistent player throughout her time at Nova Southeastern. During her freshman year, she was named the ITA South Region Rookie of the Year, Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year and garnered All-SSC singles first team honors and All-SSC second-team doubles honors with partner Sarah Wardenburg.

During her sophomore year, Espinal was named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American in both singles and doubles (with partner Sarah Warderburg), becoming the first Shark and Sunshine State Conference dual-honoree.

In her junior year, she was named First Team All-SSC in singles and double. She played primarily as the No. 2 for the Sharks and earned a record of 22-1, including a perfect 7-0 in SSC play, and ended the season on a 19-match win streak. Additionally, she posted a 9-0 mark against nationally-ranked opponents, was named SSC Player of the Week (Feb. 14), and concluded the season ranked No. 2 in the nation in singles and No. 3 in doubles along with Chantal Nosievici.

This year, Espinal won the ITA Cup doubles title for the third time in her career. At the SSC tournament, she earned her 100th career singles, the only player to accomplish this in program's history. Natalie played #1 singles all year with an overall record of 20-4 and a 16-3 dual match record. Currently she is ranked #3 in the country in singles and #2 in doubles. Awards for Natalie during her career include First-Team All-Sunshine State Conference in singles (fourth honor) and First-Team All-SSC in doubles (third honor) and ITA All-American in doubles. She guided the Sharks to the NCAA National Championship and a national finalist finish. She also helped NSU set a program record for single season wins.

This year, Espinal had singles wins against 9 nationally ranked players, including #4 Nadja Meier. In doubles, she had wins against 10 nationally ranked teams. This included beating the #5 team from Flagler Meier/Heimen, the #10 team Vidnere/Rivera from UWA, #11 team from Lynn Schieroni/Marcinkevica, #13 team Blanco/Cuesta Bret of Embry-Riddle, and the #15 team from St Leo Lancellotti/Obermeier two times.

A Quote from the Head Coach

"I am so happy to see Natalie get recognized for her well deserved ITA Senior Player of the Year honor. She has put together one of the best Division II tennis careers ever. Natalie has always carried herself with class and humility; she always puts her team first, which is a reason for her own success. I truly believe when you elevate others you can get to, and stay at, the top. Natalie has been at the top since she started as a freshman and will leave a lasting legacy to the Nova Southeastern Sharks Women's Tennis program." - Head Coach Doug Neagle