WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University rookie Carley Cooke of San Diego, Calif., has been selected to play in the NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Individual Championship tournament. Cooke is one of 32 individuals selected to participate in the individual tournament, which will be held in Cary, N.C., on May 24-26, and hosted by Meredith College. She was also selected as the University Athletic Association (UAA) Rookie of the Year.
Cooke, who is the first Brandeis women's tennis player to be selected to the NCAA championships since Abby Lerner '05 in 2005, played in the No. 1 slot for the Judges all season long. She posted a 15-4 record in dual matches this season, including 2-0 in the competitive UAA, earning second-team All-Association and in the process. Six of the UAA's eight No. 1 players will be part of the NCAA Individual tournament, while the top four teams in the league are in in the NCAA Team championship which begins this weekend. Cooke is just the third woman in school history chosen to play in the NCAA tournament, joining Lerner and Jane Chae '05, who went in 2003.
"This is a terrific opportunity for Carley," said head coach Ben Lamanna, who is in his seventh year at Brandeis. "I am excited to have this opportunity to keep working with her this year, and to see her progression throughout her career. Carley is everything Brandeis could ask for in a student-athlete."
Cooke led the team to a 15-5 record this season, matching the 1980-81 squad for most wins in a season. She also helped the Judges to a national ranking by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association for much of the season, peaking at No. 19. The Judges finished fifth in the UAA. After dropping a narrow 5-4 decision to Washington University in the opening round of the tournament, they bounced back for wins over New York University, 9-0, and Rochester, 6-3.
In addition to Cooke's selection to the singles draw, she and junior doubles partner Faith Broderick of Washingtonville, N.Y., were selected as alternates to the doubles tournament. The duo went 14-5 this season at No. 1 doubles for the Judges. They are looking to become the second Brandeis tandem selected to the NCAA tournament, along with Lerner and Colleen Donnelly '08 in 2005.
Cooke was joined on the All-UAA second team by sophomore Allyson Bernstein of Northbrook, Ill., who was selected at the No. 3 spot. Bernstein led Brandeis with 16 wins this season, finishing at 16-4. In addition to her 13-4 record at No. 3 singles, Bernstein also went 2-0 at No. 2 and 1-0 in her lone match at No. 1, which came against UAA foe NYU.