Sunday, April 14, 2024

W&M Women’s Tennis Sweeps Major CAA Awards

(Courtesy of W&M Tribe Athletics)

WILLIAMSBURG — William & Mary women’s tennis swept the major awards as the Colonial Athletic Association handed out its all-league honors on Tuesday afternoon. Senior Mila Saric was named the CAA Player of the Year for the second-straight season, while head coach Jessica Giuggioli was selected as the CAA Coach of the Year and freshman Hedda Gurholt earned CAA co-Rookie of the Year honors.

Along with the major awards, Saric was named to the All-CAA First Team in singles, while Gurholt was a second-team selection and junior Raffaela Alhach was a third-team pick. In doubles, Saric and Gurholt were named to the All-CAA  Second Team, while Alhach and classmate Elisa Van Meeteren garnered third-team distinction.

Saric became the fourth player in program history to be named the CAA Player of the Year on multiple occasions in her career. She joins a list that includes Lauren Nikolaus (three times), Megan Moulton-Levy (four times) and Elizaveta Nemchinov (two times). Saric is currently ranked No. 118 nationally and is an impressive 25-5 on the year. She owned a 15-3 ledger at No. 1 with a trio of nationally-ranked wins.

Saric earned the CAA’s automatic bid to the NCAA Singles Championship, which is set for May 23-28, in Champaign, Ill. She earned her third All-CAA singles honor and second first-team nod in a row. Her 83.3 winning % in 2021-22 ranks sixth in program history. Over her career, she dominated the CAA to the tune of a 21-2 singles record.

Gurholt became the 12th Tribe player and the first since Saric in 2019 to be named the CAA Rookie of the Year. She shared the award with Delaware’s Alina Vasileno, whom she defeated twice this season. Gurholt owns a 23-11 overall singles mark on the year, including a 14-7 ledger at the top two singles positions in dual-match play. She was 5-2 against league competition with three wins over All-CAA competition.

After joining the program in December, Giuggioli led the Tribe to its 27th CAA Championship in May. The Tribe finished the year at 13-9 and advanced to the NCAA Championship before falling to No. 6 NC State in the opening round. The Tribe entered the event on a seven-match win streak. Giuggioli is the fifth Tribe head coach on the 15th occasion and the first since 2018 to earn the accolade.

Alhach garnered the first All-CAA honor of her career with a third-team nod in singles. She compiled a 19-14 overall record, including an impressive 6-0 mark against the CAA. Alhach moved up to No. 3 in the singles lineup and finished the year strong, going 6-3 at the position. In helping the Tribe to the CAA title, she went 3-0 in singles action at the CAA Championship.

A pair of Tribe doubles teams earned All-CAA honors. Gurholt and Saric were named to the All-CAA Second Team. The duo was 8-7 on the year at No. 1, including a 3-2 mark in CAA play. Two of the wins came against first-team squads from Charleston (Slade Coetzee and Hali Trinkle) and UNCW (Sasha Belaya and Lauren Gish). Alhach and Van Meeteren received third-team honors. The pair led the Tribe with a 9-5 doubles record, including an 8-4 dual-match mark at the top two positions. They were 4-1 in CAA play, including a win over a fellow third-team choice from Charleston (Kate Earnhardt and Clara Errard).

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