Women's Tennis Ties C-USA Record With Six All-Conference Selections
April 29, 2013
IRVING, Texas - The University of Memphis women's tennis team had six players garner all-conference honors, which tied a Conference USA record, the league office announced Monday.
Memphis' six selections tied Tulsa's 2011 and 2012 squads and Tulane's 2004 team for the most honorees in a single season in C-USA history. The mark also surpassed Memphis' five selections in 2012. Rice had the second-highest number of honorees with four while Tulsa and SMU each had three selected to all-conference teams.
"I am very happy for the team," Walker said. "These are individual awards and each girl should be proud of the recognition they are receiving, but more than that they should be proud, as I am, of having the most all-conference players selected than any other team. In order to become your best, it's necessary to have people around you challenging you and calling you up to a higher standard, and the past two years we have gotten to that level."
Senior Courtney Collins, ranked No. 46 in the country, was named to the C-USA First Team for the third-consecutive year after a 14-8 record and four wins over ranked opponents this spring. The Fulton, Miss. native becomes just the second player (Christina Ladyman) in Memphis history to be selected to the C-USA all-conference team all four years of their career. Collins was a C-USA Second Team pick her freshman season.
Skylar Kuykendall became the first Lady Tiger in school history to be named C-USA Freshman of the Year, while also being selected to the C-USA Third Team. The Jasper, Ala. native posted a 27-8 record and a 15-4 mark in dual matches this season, and is tied for seventh in school history for singles wins in a season.
"Skylar earning freshman of the year was well deserved," Walker said. "She had a phenomenal spring and competed with a lot of passion against our ranked opponents. I am so happy for her. We had an incredible freshman class in Skylar, Caroline and Liza, and I was confident one of them could get this award. I'm glad to see it came through."
Graduate student Tiffany Welcher and sophomore Alyssa Hibberd were C-USA Second Team picks after both recorded at least 20 wins this year in singles play. Welcher was named to the all-conference second team for the second-straight year after going 10-2 during the dual season with a 7-1 mark at No. 2 singles. The Clarksville, Ind. native is 20-6 on the season and currently on a seven-match winning streak. Hibberd was clutch this spring for Memphis, clinching three wins for the team over ranked opponents. The Sorell, Australia native has posted a 26-8 record with a 16-2 mark in dual matches this year. Hibberd is on a nine-match winning streak with her last loss coming nearly two months ago.
Freshman Caroline Wegner was selected to the C-USA Third Team in singles and doubles with teammate Stefanie Mikesz. The Hagen, Germany native has posted a 23-7 record in her first season at Memphis and a 13-2 dual match mark. Wegner is also on a nine-match winning streak. The German duo of Wegner and Mikesz, ranked No. 62 in the country, are 19-8 this season and 13-6 in dual matches.
"To tie a record in the year where C-USA women's tennis has never been stronger is a great feeling," said head coach Lee Taylor Walker. "We have two top-25 and five top-50 teams. It's a strong conference and we are prepared for a deep run at the NCAAs."
Memphis is looking for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, which begins May 10 at select campus sites. The Lady Tigers are 17-6 this season with five wins over ranked opponents, including two over top-25 Virginia and Notre Dame. The 17 wins are the most by a Memphis team since the 2002-03 season when the Lady Tigers went 17-7. The NCAA Selection Show airs tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. CT online at NCAA.com. Fans are encouraged to join the men's and women's teams tomorrow at 4 p.m. to watch the selection show in The Racquet Club of Memphis' Pub & Dining Room, located at 5111 Sanderlin Avenue.
2013 ALL-CONFERENCE USA SINGLES TEAM
2013 ALL-CONFERENCE USA DOUBLES TEAM
Coach of the Year: Elizabeth Schmidt, Rice