Wednesday, June 12, 2024

W&M’s Jessica Giuggioli, Hedda Gurholt Earn Top CAA Honors; Tribe Leads League with Five All-CAA Selections

(Tribe Athletics)

RICHMOND — William & Mary women’s tennis reaped the rewards of another CAA Championship season with the largest haul of league awards, the conference announced on Wednesday. Jessica Giuggioli was named the CAA Coach of the Year for the third-straight season, while junior Hedda Gurholt was selected as the CAA Player of the Year for the second consecutive campaign.

In total, the Tribe took home a league-high five All-CAA awards between singles and doubles, and six W&M student-athletes were recognized. The Tribe also enjoyed a league-best three All-CAA singles players and was the only program with two first two picks. W&M’s two All-CAA doubles team were tied for the most in the league as well.

Gurholt was named to the All-CAA First Team in singles for the second-straight year. She was joined on the first team by graduate student Yu Chen. Chen earned All-CAA Second Team honors in doubles along with junior Emma Fernald. Graduate student Mila Mejic was named to the All-CAA Second Team in singles, while juniors Alessandra Anghel and Ine Stange were named to the third team in doubles.

Giuggioli made it 3-for-3, earning CAA Coach of the Year in her third season at the helm of the Tribe. She is the first CAA women’s tennis coach to win the award in three-straight seasons. W&M captured its third-straight league title under Giuggioli in April and finished the season at 18-6 overall. Along with its run of three wins in three days at the CAA Championship, Giuggioli led the Tribe to a school-record tying 14-match win streak, before falling to No. 29-ranked Wisconsin in the NCAA Regional. Over her three seasons in Williamsburg, W&M is an impressive 46-20 (.697). It marks the 17th time overall that a Tribe coach has received the honor.

Gurholt became the fifth 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 Mila Saric (two times), Lauren Nikolaus (three times), Megan Moulton-Levy (four times), and Elizaveta Nemchinov (two times). In total, 17 W&M women’s tennis players have won 25 league player of the year awards, including nine of the last 10.

During her junior season, Gurholt dominated the top of the lineup, going 19-3 in dual-match play, including a 14-3 mark at No. 1. She led the Tribe with a 28-6 record and her singles winning %  of 82.4% ranked 10th in program history. Gurholt continued to dominate the CAA as she is a remarkable 26-3 against league competition over her three-year career. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the CAA Championship for the second-straight year after leading the Tribe to its 29th conference title. For her career, Gurholt is 72-24 in singles action and her career singles winning % of 75% ranks fifth in program history.

In her lone season at W&M, Chen earned All-CAA First Team honors in singles. She was 21-9 on the year, including a 15-5 mark in dual-match action between the top two positions. Chen went 2-0 in the CAA Championship, helping the Tribe to the league crown with wins at the No. 2 position. In total, she was 6-2 against CAA foes this season.

Chen and Fernald held down the top doubles position for the Tribe this season on their way to earning All-CAA Second Team honors. The duo was 12-7 at the top spot, including four wins against CAA competition. Chen and Fernald knocked off the All-CAA First Team pair of Eda Arli and Elif Albayrak of UNCW in the semifinals to help W&M advance to the league final. It marked the second time that Fernald earned All-CAA honors in doubles as she garnered third team honors last season.

Mejic earned All-CAA Second Team honors after going a perfect 8-0 against CAA competition during the spring season. Included in her haul of victories was the CAA Championship clinching win over Delaware’s Maryia Hrynashka, who was an All-CAA Third Team choice. Mejic was 17-10 on the season, including a 12-6 mark at the No. 3 position. She also knocked off CAA Rookie of the Year Oziera Ahmad of Charleston and All-CAA First Teamer Lizette Reding of Elon .

Anghel and Stange garnered a spot on the All-CAA Third Team in doubles. The Tribe tandem was 6-3 on the year, including a 4-2 at No. 2 doubles. Anghel and Stange notched four wins over CAA competition, including a win over the All-CAA Second Team of Julieta Honrubia and Maryia Hrynashka to help W&M to the doubles point in the CAA title match with Delaware. It marks the second-straight season that Stange earned All-CAA in doubles after she was part of a first team pair in 2023.

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