February 6, 2014

Tereza Simonyan – Hall of Famer

By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletics Director, Strategic Communications

Northridge, Calif. – Tereza Simonyan's
legendary career as a tennis player has earned her a berth in the CSUN Hall of Fame. Well deserved !!!

Her career accomplishments beyond tennis are extraordinary.

After graduating with distinguished academic honors from Cal State Northridge in 2004, Simonyan attended the Seattle University School of Law where she graduated cum laude in 2009.

Since 2009, Simonyan has earned impressive credentials as a highly successful, distinguished attorney in Seattle. Her law practice focuses in the areas of reorganization, insolvency, bankruptcy and related litigation. She has represented debtors and creditors, and has previously worked as a judicial extern to the Honorable Karen Overstreet, Chief Bankruptcy Judge in the Western District of Washington.

"Tereza has always had a great work ethic," said Gary Victor, CSUN's head tennis coach for the past 16 seasons. "Her work ethic was outstanding. We all knew she was going to be successful at whatever career she worked towards. She fights for what she believes in."

One of Simonyan's clients recently wrote … "Tereza is a superlative attorney. She's smart, knowledgeable, and exceptionally good at providing the right solutions."

Simonyan, who fluently speaks four languages (Armenian, Russian, Spanish, English), hails from Armenia, a Republic bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran to the south.

No one quarrels with Simonyan's accomplishments as the greatest women's tennis player in CSUN history. Simonyan holds four career and single season school records. The records include career wins (78 from 2000-03) and single season wins (23 in 2001). Her name appears in the CSUN Top-10 list 12 times.

Simonyan credits much of her success to the coaching talents of Gary Victor.

"Gary recognized and developed my strengths, and supported me 100 percent even when I was not at my best," said Simonyan, who said she is "thrilled" to be inducted into the Matador Hall of Fame. "He also provided the emotional support that is so valuable in a lonely sport like tennis. Gary is responsible for so much of my success in all aspects of my life."

Her successes included being named a four-time all-league selection (2000-03) and helping the Matadors to the Big Sky Conference title in 2001.

"Winning the Big Sky championship was the greatest moment of my tennis career at Cal State Northridge," said Simonyan. "The warm atmosphere helped in my development as a student-athlete and as an individual."

When Simonyan enrolled at Cal State Northridge during her freshman season in 2000, Victor noticed a talented player beaming with great potential. 

"Tereza was going to outwork everybody," said Victor. "She is a great example of someone who would fight for every point. She just wanted to get it done. She had a football mentality on the tennis court. One time she dove for a ball in practice and skinned her chin so badly she was bleeding but she wanted to continue. That was the type of person she was. She was unbelievably fast. She could change direction better than any athlete I have ever coached."

Despite her hugely successful law career, Simonyan still has a chance to play a set of tennis on occasion.

"Not as often as I'd like to but that will change," admits Simonyan. "Tennis will always be a huge part of my life. I'll never stop playing."

Victor and Simonyan still keep in contact despite her extremely busy schedule.

"Tereza has had an amazing loyalty to the tennis program at CSUN," said Victor. "She could have transferred to any school in the country when a lot of athletes at the time were transferring at other schools. She could have attended Stanford, UCLA or USC. But she maintained her loyalty to CSUN. That has meant a lot to me and my assistant coach James Ciuffo."

Tereza Simonyan is the first woman's tennis player in Matador history to join the more than 215 members of the Cal State Northridge Hall of Fame.

"This is a great honor for Tereza, and that she is representing our program," beamed Victor. "She has accomplished so much on-and-off the court. It is going to be an exciting day. We are thankful that the CSUN Hall of Fame selection committee has inducted Tereza at such a young age."

Hall of Fame Hoopla …
The 2014 Hall of Fame reception at the Warner Center Marriott Hotel in Woodland Hills is scheduled for Sunday, February 9, at 11:00 am followed by Lunch and the Induction Ceremony at Noon … Tickets are $60 person and $600 table of ten … For more information, contact CSUN Special Events at 818-677-1300 or halloffame@csun.edu … Hotel reservations at the Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills (Ca) are available by calling 800-228-9290 … Mention the CSUN Hall of Fame to receive a CSUN special rate of $99 per night … During the Matador Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame induction weekend, CSUN Athletics and the Alumni Association will host an Alumni Fan Day on Saturday, February 8 … The event includes a pre-game reception for Hall of Fame inductees and Lifetime Alumni members before the CSUN men's basketball game against Cal State Fullerton at 5:30 p.m. … The HOF inductees will be honored at mid-court at halftime of the basketball game … Tipoff is 7:00 pm.

 
 

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