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Plum grad Yurovsky settles in with No. 8-ranked Michigan women's tennis team

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Papich nabs PSAC honors

Gannon junior Jenny Papich, a Fox Chapel graduate, was named PSAC Women's Basketball West Division Athlete of the Year.

Papich was also named to the All-PSAC West Division first team for the second consecutive season. The 6-foot-1 forward averages 13.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game for Gannon (28-4), which advanced to the PSAC championship game.

Gannon was ranked No. 7 in the country in NCAA Division II before losing to Bloomsburg, 74-57, in the PSAC finals.

—Bill Beckner Jr.

Sunday, March 10, 2013, 12:31 a.m.
 

While her hometown of Plum was getting blanketed by eight inches of snow, and her college town of Ann Arbor was shivering from frigid temperatures, Ronit Yurovsky was somewhat distracted.

Excuse her — she was off working on her tan on the West Coast.

A freshman tennis player at Michigan, Yurovsky and her teammates were on spring break last week in La Jolla, Calif.

“We're staying right off the beach,” she said. “I'm thinking, I kind of feel bad. Then, I'm like, nah.”

Yurovsky has been soaking up the sunshine on the court, as well. Stellar play has drawn praise from coaches, which has led to elevated playing time, and the conference has recognized her by way of awards.

Yurovsky picked up her second Big Ten Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week award after helping the Wolverines to a 4-3 victory of No. 2-ranked Duke — the program's biggest upset.

Yurovsky, a two-time PIAA champion and three-time WPIAL champion at Plum, is 19-5 playing singles and has won 15 of her last 16 matches.

She is 4-2 in doubles.

“Ronit has been incredible. For a freshman to come in and play high in the lineup and come through for us has been huge,” Michigan coach Ronni Bernstein said. “She also brings so many positive things to the team off the court. She is always in a good mood and brings so much positive energy to our program. She is also one of our hardest workers.”

Yurovsky, ranked No. 33 individually in the country, said her seamless transition to college tennis is a credit to time management.

“In the beginning of the fall, I took some time to get adjusted,” she said. “College is a lot different from junior tennis. You're on your own. The little things add up.”

Yurovsky also is adjusting to playing back-to-back matches on weekends, often a standard schedule in Division I.

But adjustments seem easier when she's in her element.

“In juniors, it was a tournament here or there,” she said. “When I step on the court, I don't worry about anything else. I try not to let outside things bother me.”

Yurovsky said the Duke win has given the Wolverines added confidence — and has boosted them to No. 8 in the NCAA rankings.

“It was huge,” she said. “Going into the match, we knew we had a chance. We knew each of our girls had potential, so we knew we had a chance. Now we see what we're capable of.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


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