SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Furman’s Katarina Kozarov has been named the 2019 Southern Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Year, as announced by the league on Tuesday. Wofford’s Krissy Hall was named the league’s Coach of the Year, becoming the first Wofford coach to earn the title, while Furman’s Julia Adams was tabbed the Freshman of the Year. Western Carolina’s Jordan Strickland earned the Sportsmanship Award. Postseason balloting was conducted by the league’s head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
Kozarov took home player of the year honors for the second straight year after helping Furman to a 23-1 record, a 7-0 mark in league play and a national ranking of 48th. A Furman player has won the award each of the last four years and five of the last six. The junior was also named to the all-conference first team after finishing the season 18-3 overall and a perfect 7-0 in conference play at the No. 1 singes spot the second-straight season. The Novi Sad, Serbia, native also posted a 16-3 overall record in doubles play, including a 6-1 mark with Adams at No. 1 doubles.
Hall coached Wofford to an 12-7 record and 4-3 mark in conference play. The 12 wins and four SoCon victories are the Terriers’ most in a season since the 2007-08 team finished 12-8 and 4-5 in league action. The Terriers earned the No. 3 seed in this week’s Southern Conference Women’s Tennis Championship and placed one player and one doubles duo on the first team.
Adams finished the regular season 19-3 overall and 6-1 in conference play. The freshman was also part of a doubles team selected to the all-conference first team. She becomes the 12th Paladin to earn the honor and the second in the last three seasons.
Strickland won the Sportsmanship Award in balloting conducted by the coaches. The junior went 11-9 in the No. 1 spot on the year and earned the recognition for the second time in her career as she was a co-recipient in 2017. She also paired with teammate Savannah Taranto to go 12-7 in doubles action. She is the fourth Western Carolina player to receive the award.
ETSU, Mercer, UNCG and Wofford each placed one on the first team. Kozarov was joined on the all-conference first team by teammate Katty Weymouth, marking the fifth consecutive year the Paladins have had two representatives earn first-team honors. Both players repeat as first-team selections, with Weymouth earning the third first-team honor in her career after making the team her freshman season. Buc freshman Laylo Bakhodirova, Mercer senior Katie Sidor, UNCG senior Nancy Bridges and Wofford sophomore Jenna Vroman round out the first team.
Bakhodirova is the first freshman to be selected to the first team since Furman’s Danni Vines in 2017, while Sidor is a first-team selection for the second consecutive year. Bridges is the first Spartan to be named first-team all-conference since Niltooli Wilkins in 2013 and Vroman is the first Terrier to earn the honor since Ellen Rogers in 2006.
Furman’s Adams and Kozarov, UNCG’s Bridges and Erika Barquero, and Wofford’s Vroman and Cassidy Hicks were named first-team all-conference in doubles. It was the second straight year Vroman and Hicks were pegged as first-team selections, while Furman had a duo selected for the first time since 2017 and UNCG earned the honor for the first time since 2013.
The second-team all-conference selections are awarded based on position. ETSU, Furman and Western Carolina each earned two positions. Strickland was chosen at No. 1, while teammate Jacy Smith was picked at No. 2 singles. ETSU’s Andrea Pascual-Larrinaga and Raquel Amaro earned the nod at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Furman’s Carol Elizabeth Kerman was the pick at No. 5 and fellow Paladin Georgie Walker completed the team at No. 6.
ETSU’s duo of Bakhodirova and Alejandra Morales was the second-team No. 1 doubles team, while Furman’s Weymouth and Madison Dillon were tabbed at No. 2. Furman’s Kerman and Walker earned the nod at No. 3.
The All-Freshman team was comprised of ETSU’s Amaro and Bakhodirova, Furman’s Adams and Dillon, UNCG’s Barquero and Western Carolina’s Smith.
The 2019 Southern Conference Women’s Tennis Championship begins Thursday, April 18, in Macon, Georgia.
Player of the Year
Singles (by position)
No. 1 – Jordan Strickland, Western Carolina
No. 2 – Jacy Smith, Western Carolina
No. 3 – Andrea Pascual-Larrinaga, ETSU
No. 4 – Raquel Amaro, ETSU
No. 5 – Carol Elizabeth Kerman, Furman
No. 6 – Georgie Walker, Furman
Doubles (by position)