All-SWAC Women's Tennis Team revealed
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) office revealed the 2018 All-SWAC Women's Tennis Teams on Thursday, one day prior to the start of the 2018 SWAC Tennis Championships that will be played on the grounds of the Pepsi Tennis Center in New Orleans, La.
Members of the All-Conference teams were decided upon by their conference records in singles and doubles competition. Ties were broken by considering a player’s position ranking with higher favorability granted to the higher seeded player.
The top 12 players in the conference were chosen as part of the All-Conference Team. In addition, the large individual award winners were announced for Freshman of the Year and the Player of the Year. The Coach of the Year award will be presented to the championship team’s head coach at the end of the SWAC Championship.
The women’s team comprised of players who went a combined 67-6 in conference singles play. There were seven players who joined the undefeated ranks in singles conference play with a minimum of at least four decisions including Tyler Smith (6-0) of Jackson State, Rufaro Chirewa (5-0) of Southern, Constanza Aranguiz (6-0) and Timara Maxwell (5-0) of Prairie View A&M, Marlene Maier (8-0) of Alcorn State and Reka Szentes (4-0) and Marija Blazevic (6-0), both of Alabama State.
Players who made the All-Conference team with just one singles defeat in conference included Tanaka Chakanyuka (6-1) of Southern, Gabriela Lackova (6-1), Mirna Curcic (5-1), and Lea Krajcovicova (5-1), all of Alabama State.
Lucia Solis, who played mainly from the No. 2 singles position, went 5-2 in conference singles play and then also added a victory in conference doubles play by teaming with Smith.
Among the large individual award winners, Yuliia Popova, was named the 2018 SWAC Women’s Tennis Freshman of the Year.
The native of Odessa, Ukraine went 3-3 in conference singles play from the top three positions and also teamed with Danna Galeano to pick up a conference doubles victory. Popova secured a winning overall record as well, recording an 8-6 mark in her first season.
Jackson State’s No. 1 player Tyler Smith won back-to-back SWAC Women’s Tennis Player of the Year honors after finishing with the most wins of any player in the SWAC at 13-2. The senior from Pembroke, Bermuda, has reeled off 13 consecutive wins and did not take any defeats in conference play as she went 6-0 in singles competition and picked up an additional victory in doubles play by teaming with Solis.
Women’s All-SWAC Tennis Team
Tyler Smith, Jackson State
Lucia Solis, Jackson State
Rufaro Chirewa, Southern
Constanza Aranguiz, Prairie View A&M
Timara Maxwell, Prairie View A&M
Marlene Maier, Alcorn State
Tanaka Chakanyuka, Southern
Reka Szentes, Alabama State
Gabriela Lackova, Alabama State
Mirna Curcic, Alabama State
Lea Krajcovicova, Alabama State
Marija Blazevic, Alabama State
Women’s Freshman of the Year: Yuliia Popova, Grambling State
Women’s Player of the Year: Tyler Smith, Jackson State