CULLOWHEE, N.C. - For a fifth consecutive year, Western Carolina had six or more women’s tennis players named Scholar-Athletes by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) as the entire eight-member squad made the list. Collectively, WCU received the organization’s All-Academic Team Award for 2018-19, earning recognition for a sixth-straight year and the 10th time overall since 2003.

Recent Western Carolina graduates Savannah Taranto and Alexa Webb were recognized for a fourth-straight time while WCU’s rising seniors Lauren McCall and Jordan Strickland each received the award for a third straight year. Upcoming juniors Carli DeehrJordyn King and Caitlin Ward were honored for the third consecutive year while freshmen Jacy Smith and Julia Pezzuco received their first honors. Seven of WCU’s honorees were named to the 2018-19 Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll for grade point averages above a 3.0, while eligible student-athletes Taranto, Webb, McCall, and Strickland were selected to the Spring 2019 Academic All-Southern Conference team.

Additionally, Taranto (biology, 3.91), Webb (marketing, 3.84), Deehr (marketing, 3.98) and McCall (3.84 received the prestigious SoCon Commissioner’s Medal, awarded to student-athletes with annual GPAs of 3.8 or higher.

Collectively, WCU’s women’s tennis student-athletes compiled a GPA of 3.87.

WCU was among seven Southern Conference schools honored, joined by Chattanooga, Furman, Mercer, Samford, UNCG, and Wofford, with a combined 28 SoCon women’s tennis players recognized. WCU and Mercer led with eight student-athletes each.

The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above (on a 4.00 scale). All varsity letter winners should be factored into the cumulative team GPA for the current academic year (including fall 2017 and spring 2018).

In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status a player must meet the following criteria: 1.) be a varsity letter winner; 2.) have a grade point average of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year; and 3.) have been enrolled at their present school for at least 2 semesters (including freshman through senior year).

For more information on the ITA, visit

Western Carolina University's All-Time ITA Honorees:

2003: Kristin Cotton 

2004: Kristin Cotton and Rocio Perez 

2005: Kristin Cotton-Ikard, Trish HansonAshley Harris, Sara Ryckman and Susanna Sjokvist 

2006: Trish Hanson and Susanna Sjokvist 

2007: Trish Hanson and Susanna Sjokvist 

2008: Trish Hanson and Susanna Sjokvist 

2013: Shannon Bettiol, Karen Jiminez, Stacia KissellErin MaguireNicole Nielly and Sara Ruiz Pajares 

2014: Stacia KissellErin MaguireMegan McLindenNicole Nielly and Sara Ruiz Pajares 

2015: Elizabeth AnsariShannon BettiolErin MaguireMegan McLindenMontse Mesalles and Nicole Nielly 

2016: Elizabeth AnsariShannon BettiolGaby HurtStacia KissellErin MaguireMegan McLindenNicole NiellySavannah Taranto and Alexa Webb 

2017: Elizabeth AnsariLauren McCallMadison RileyJordan StricklandSavannah Taranto, and Alexa Webb

2018: Carli DeehrJordyn KingLauren McCallJordan StricklandSavannah TarantoCaitlin Ward and Alexa Webb

2019: Carli DeehrJordyn KingLauren McCallJordan StricklandSavannah TarantoJulia Pezzuco, Jacy Smith and Alexa Webb

Team Recipient Years: 2003-04, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2008-09, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19