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Maes, Chen, Hoppe Honored by ITA

by Frank Mercogliano

OCALA, Fla. — After a record setting championship season, head coach Vicky Maes was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year.  Now she has picked up a major ITA honor, and she isn’t the only Lobo to pick up honors.

Maes was named the ITA Mountain Region Coach of the Year, and joining her was assistant coach Yue Lin “Polly” Chen, who was named the ITA Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year.  Also picking up honors was senior Leonie Hoppe, who was named the winner of the Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award.

All of the winners are now up for national honors, which will be announced on Thursday.

Maes is the third Lobo coach to be named ITA Mountain Region Coach of the Year, and the first since Erica Perkins Jasper earned the honor in 2015.  Kathy Kolankiewicz won it three times, in 1996, 1999 and 2004.  Maes led the Lobos to their first Mountain West regular season title, and a school record .864 winning percentage, going 19-3 and 8-1 in the Mountain West.

Chen, who formerly played at UNM, is the first assistant to earn ITA Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year honors since Kelcy McKenna did so in 2014.  Roy Cañada also won the award in 2000 and 2005.

Hoppe, who won 13 of her last 14 matches and earned All-Mountain West honors, is the first Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award winner since Aime Hites won the award twice in 1998 and 1999.

THe Lobos just announced two additions for next year’s squad with junior Rebekkah Gaines of FAMU and freshman Maria Matsoukatidi of Greece.