April 16, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina's Stacia Kissell was today named to the Southern Conference's All-Freshman team as the league announced its post-season all-conference teams and post-season award winners ahead of this week's championship event.
Kissell is WCU's first-ever selection to the All-Freshman team - an honorary squad that the league began recognizing in 2009. She is also just the second Catamount all-time to be recognized with the all-conference teams joining Tessie Salame who was a second-team All-SoCon selection at No. 1 singles in 2008.
WCU has additionally garnered the conference's Sportsmanship Award three times with Tara Livengood (1999), Trish Hanson (2006) and Suzanna Sjokvist (2007) collecting the plaudits.
Kissell was one of six first-year players honored by the league's head coaches. The Latrobe, Pa., native played the entire season as WCU's No. 1 singles player, collecting five individual victories including a stretch of three-straight wins at mid-season. In three of her final four singles matches, she forced a tie-breaking set in close losses, all coming in SoCon play.
Kissell played eight doubles matches in the No. 2 position before moving to the No. 1 tandem in mid-March, playing the final 10 doubles matches in the top flight. She posted three victories with senior teammate Karen Jiménez at No. 2 doubles before an injury sidelined Jiménez for the remainder of the season. Kissell then teamed with classmate Shannon Bettiol, recording five doubles wins including four-straight and three in SoCon play.
"Stacia has been a tremendous asset to our team this year. Since the day she arrived on campus at Western Carolina, she's been a leader both on and off the court. When she competes, she plays every point like its match point," said head coach Chris Wollett.
Western Carolina opens play in the 2013 SoCon Women's Tennis Championship against sixth-seeded Chattanooga at 1:00 pm on Thursday, April 18 at the Burlington Tennis Center.