2016 USA South Women's Tennis Awards Announced

2016 USA South Women's Tennis Awards Announced

(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) - The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2016 All-Conference awards for women's tennis. A total of 29 student-athletes have been named to the All-Conference teams. Averett University's Heidi Sarkkinen swept the Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors while Covenant College's John Hirte was named Coach of the Year. Also, the USA South recognized an All-Sportsmanship Team, consisting of one member from each competing school.

All honors were determined by votes from the women's tennis coach at each institution.

Sarkkinen, a freshman Oulu, Finland becomes the fifth player in USA South women's tennis history to earn the Player and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season. She joins Kirsi Turunen (2005) as the second Cougar to achieve the feat making Averett the first program to have multiple women's tennis athletes earn the two awards in the same year. Playing at the number-one singles position throughout the season, Sarkkinen has earned a perfect 16-0 overall record with a 12-0 mark against USA South opposition. She is currently ranked 24th in the ITA Division III Atlantic South Region rankings. In doubles play, at the top position, Sarkkinen has teamed with Hannah Mattson in all but two matches this season, earning a 13-3 overall record and a 10-2 mark during League play. For her efforts this season, she earned First Team All-Conference honors. Finally, Sarkkinen was named USA South Player of the Week twice and USA South Rookie of the Week six times this season.

In his fourth season at the helm of Covenant, Hirte earns his first USA South Women's Tennis Coach of the Year honor. He becomes the first Scot coach to collect the award in the sport of women's tennis. Last season, Hirte was awarded Conference Men's Tennis Coach of the Year for the first time in his career. This spring, he has led Covenant to a 14-5 overall record and a 11-1 USA South mark which was good for second in the final regular season standings. The 11 Conference wins set a new program record. In the USA South Preseason Coaches Poll, the Scots were picked to finish fourth. Covenant currently sits 19th in the latest ITA Division III Atlantic South Region Rankings and enters the USA South tournament as the second-seeded team.

Player & Rookie of the Year Coach of the Year

Heidi Sarkkinen

John Hirte

The 2016 USA South Women's Tennis All-Conference Team:

First Team Second Team Honorable Mention
Valeria Berber, N.C. Wesleyan
Isabella Graf, Methodist

Aly Hall, Covenant
Sam Munze, Methodist
Heidi Sarkkinen, Averett

Ran Zhang, Meredith
Stephany Barbera, N.C. Wesleyan
Catherine Bryant, Meredith
Jenna Landis, Methodist
Hannah Mattson, Averett

Florencia Sorrentino, N.C. Wesleyan
Ashton Walker, Methodist
Davi Barbour, Methodist
Annie DeLuca, Covenant
Ana Diaz, N.C. Wesleyan
Maddy Little, Maryville
Claire Luger, Covenant

Nicole Parrish, Piedmont
Zoya Robinson, Huntingdon
Andrea Tobar, N.C. Wesleyan
  Hannah Mattson, Averett
Lindsay Geving, Covenant
Monica Morris, Ferrum
Ashley Spivey, Greensboro
Caroline McBroom, Huntingdon
Morgan McDonald, LaGrange
Jochebed Koomson, Mary Baldwin
Tessa Wilcox, Maryville
Ran Zhang, Meredith
Isabella Graf, Methodist
Stephany Barbera, N.C. Wesleyan
Tatiana Burkett, Piedmont
Sierra Wyse, William Peace