Burduli Highlights Cougar Tennis Banquet

July 14, 2008

PULLMAN, Wash. - Seniors Ekaterina Burduli, Kara Konomos and Aleksandra Stefanova, along with freshman Jessica Gomez, all received team awards to highlight the Washington State women's tennis team end of the season banquet, head coach Lisa Hart recently announced.

Burduli, the 2008 team captain, captured the team most valuable player and academic awards, while Konomos earned the Cougar Pride Award, Stefanova, the Coaches Award and Gomez the Strength Award.

A native of Tel Aviv, Israel, Burduli posted a 3.56 GPA while majoring in psychology for her second-straight team academic award. She was the recipient of the 2008 WSU Big 10 Senior Award, which recognizes the 10 most accomplished graduating seniors for the entire university, the 2008 WSU Blankenship Outstanding Student-Athlete Award, WSU's 2008 women's Pac-10 Medal winner and WSU's 2008 NCAA Woman of the Year nominee.

On the court Burduli finished the 2008 season with a team-leading 28 victories, the first player in WSU history to register three-straight 20-win seasons. The 28 wins also mark a WSU single-season record. Burduli, who finished the season ranked No. 57 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, ended her WSU career with a school-record 91 career singles victories. She led WSU to the NCAA Championships this past season for the first time since 2002 while also making her second appearance at the NCAA Singles championships.

Stefanova, a hospitality business management major from Skopje, Macedonia, posted a 19-16 record this past season. It marked the highest win total during her four-year Cougar career as she achieved a No.22 regional ranking. She played matches at the top three singles spots, though mainly at No. 2 singles, where she posted an 11-10 record. Her victory over Stanford's Lindsey Burdette, who finished the year ranked No. 65 nationally, was the first by a Cougar in a dual match against Stanford since 1998 season.

Konomos, a marketing major from Auburn Wash., was named the recipient of the Cougar Pride Award following her four years as a member of the Cougar squad. A two-time winner of the Cougar Tennis Strength and Conditioning Award, Konomos has always taken a lead role in mentoring younger players, showing a great commitment to the team and displaying an exemplary work ethic.

Gomez, in her first year from Guadalupe, Mexico, posted a 14-14 singles record, mainly at the No. 6 position. She had match-clinching wins against Boise State, Nevada, Wyoming and Oregon to go with a season-best five-match winning streak before missing nearly a month towards the end of the season with a foot injury.

The Cougars completed their season with a 16-10 record and their first NCAA team appearance since the 2002 season.