Courtesy: Big Sky Conference
Petrei Voted Big Sky MVP
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 05/06/2016
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OGDEN, Utah—Honors continue to roll in for the Vandals. Fresh off their second consecutive Big Sky championship, freshman Marianna Petrei was voted the conference’s Most Valuable Player on Friday. Petrei becomes the second consecutive Vandal to win league MVP.

Idaho landed four players across the First and Second Team’s and Honorable Mentions. Senior Belen Barcenilla joined Petrei on the First Team. Freshman Maria Tavares was voted to the Second Team, while Lucia Badillos made Honorable Mention.

“It just goes to show how deep of a team we are,” head coach Mariana Cobra explained. “Every single one of us excelled this season. We are not just getting one award. That shows how competitive we are.”

Petrei, an Udine, Italy native, led the league with a 22-2 overall singles record along with a perfect 11-0 mark during conference play. Playing exclusively at No. 1 singles, Petrei has put together two separate 11-match winning streaks and dropped just six sets during the season. In doubles play, she primarily played with Badillos at the No. 3 position, accumulating a dominant 14-1 overall record with a 7-1 clip in Big Sky action.

Petrei’s 91.6 winning percentage stands as Idaho’s all-time best. It also marks the Big Sky’s top winning percentage of the season. She went 13-0 overall against conference competition dropping just a single set in all finished matches. The freshman helped lead Idaho to its second consecutive Big Sky tournament title, going a combined 5-0 as the Vandals won three straight matches while knocking off both regular season champions in the process. Idaho also prevented Sacramento State from reaching its 15th straight championship match, and the Vandals topped the league’s other regular season champion Northern Arizona in the title match to earn its third trip in a row to the NCAA Tournament.

“It has been very rewarding to see Marianna develop as a player so quickly,” Cobra added. “She did not have a fall season to condition like the rest of the team. She began in the spring and in her first week here she had to play her first match. There was a lot of adjusting and she did an amazing job.”

The Vandals are currently preparing for their third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Idaho will take on Pepperdine on May 13, at 1 p.m. PT.