Zuzana Lesenarova to be inducted into USD Athletic Hall of Fame
Courtesy: San Diego Athletics
San Diego, CA – Former USD women’s tennis star Zuzana Lesenarova (Novy Vicin, Czech Republic) will be inducted into USD’s Chet & Marguerite Pagni Family Athletic Hall of Fame on May 2, 2009 as part of the USD Alumni Honors program that will be held in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Zuzana made a tremendous impact on the collegiate women’s tennis national scene during her time at the University of San Diego (1996-2000). A four-time ITA All-American, she is the school’s only NCAA Division I national champion.
“It is an honor that she truly deserves,” said USD head women’s tennis coach Sherri Stephens. “In my opinion she is one of best, if not top-five best collegiate tennis players in all of Division I with all of the awards and achievements that she accomplished. She gave USD a name at a time when USD women’s tennis did not have a name and she was just an incredible player as well as a great student.”
During her junior campaign she won the 1999 NCAA Division I national singles championship with a win over Stanford’s Marissa Irvin in the final, ending her fabulous junior season as the No. 1 ranked player in the nation. In 1999 she won three of the four Grand Slam events, and all told won 37 career Grand Slam matches. Named the 1999 ITA National Player of the Year, she was rewarded with an invitation into the 1999 U.S. Open Championships. Additionally, she held the No. 1 singles ranking twice (1999, 2000), the No. 1 doubles ranking once (2000, w/Katrina Valkyova); is a two-time National Clay Court Champion; a two-time Riviera All-American Champion; a three-time Semifinalist at the Rolex Indoors; a three-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year; and a three-time WCC All-Academic selection. For her Torero career she finished with an overall record of 202-55 (139-25 in singles; 63-30 in doubles).
Added Stephens about the national championship match Lesenarvoa won in 1999, “It’s hard to even explain what it feels like to be sitting on the court and watch your player play for the national championship. It was one of the most exciting matches that I have ever seen. Along with it being the national championship, you don’t want to get to the finals and lose. She had split sets and was pretty tight in the third set, and ended up going to a tie-breaker in the third set. So you can imagine I was about to pass out in my chair sitting a couple of courts away. She ended up winning the tie-breaker. Our athletic director (Tom Iannacone) was there, and there were about 3,000 people in the stands. It is a feeling you can only dream about. It was great for our program, and great for Zuzana. She also got to play in the U.S. Open that summer in New York, and that was another wonderful experience for both of us.”
The Alumni Honors is the University of San Diego’s Premier Annual Event. Zuzana will be joined by nine other outstanding USD alumni for professional career achievement, contributions to humanitarian causes, and exemplary service to USD. The evening includes a cocktail reception, sit-down dinner, awards presentation, entertainment and dessert reception. The event is $150 per person and will begin at 5:30 pm. For more information, please call (619) 260-4690.