July 25, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Five players on Western Carolina's women's tennis team were named Scholar-Athletes by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) while collectively, the squad was honored by the organization with its All-Academic Team Award.
Rising senior Megan McLinden and rising juniors Stacia Kissell, Erin Maguire, Nicole Nielly and Sara Ruiz Pajares were all recognized individually for their achievements off the court in the classroom. It is the second honor for Kissell, Maguire, Nielly and Ruiz Pajares. All told, 13 different Catamount women's tennis players have been honored since 2002-03.
This year also marks the sixth time the team has been honored since 2002. The five individuals is one shy of the record six recognized in 2012-13, matching the five honorees in 2005.
"I am very proud of all of our players for being so successful in the classroom. It is a true testament of how hard these girls work at being student-athletes," said head coach Michaela Kissell-Eddins. "I know their hard work will set them up for bright futures, and I am so glad they have set this type of precedent for future Catamount tennis players."
All six of WCU's women's tennis players on roster earned Spring Academic All-Southern Conference honors in 2013-14. Kissell became the first Catamount women's tennis player to earn first team all-conference honors last spring.
The individual awards are bestowed upon varsity student-athletes that have been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters and possess a grade point average of 3.50 or higher on a 4.0 scale for the academic year. The team award goes to ITA programs that have a cumulative team GPA of 3.20 or above.
For more information on the ITA, visit www.itatennis.com.
Fans can keep track of Western Carolina Athletics through the Catamount Athletics social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports); Twitter (@catamounts) using the hashtag #ProveYourPurple; YouTube (CatamountSports); and Instagram (wcu_catamounts).
WCU's All-Time ITA Honorees:
2003: Kristin Cotton
2004: Kristin Cotton and Rocio Perez
2005: Kristin Cotton-Ikard, Trish Hanson, Ashley 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 Kissell, Erin Maguire, Nicole Nielly and Sara Ruiz Pajares
2014: Stacia Kissell, Erin Maguire, Megan McLinden, Nicole Nielly and Sara Ruiz Pajares
Team Recipient Years: