Priest, Walter Earn C-USA All-Academic Honors
April 16, 2008
IRVING, Texas - Three seniors, a junior and two sophomores make up the 2008 Conference USA All-Academic Women's Tennis team. All six members have at least a 3.60 GPA for the second year in a row. East Carolina had two members on the team, while Rice, SMU, Tulsa and UCF each placed one representative on the squad.
East Carolina teammates Hannah Priest and Brooke Walter were named to the all-academic team after leading the Lady Pirates to a 16-5 record. Priest, a senior, carries a 3.98 GPA in physical education and is one of three repeat selections to the C-USA All-Academic Team. Priest also earned a spot on the Dean's List and the ECU Athletics Director's Honor Roll. She currently serves as the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative and has posted an impressive 9-2 singles mark.
Walter has a perfect 4.00 GPA as an English major with a psychology minor. The sophomore was selected to the ECU Athletics Director's Honor Roll, the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll and received the academic medal from Conference USA. This spring she is 11-6 in singles matches and 10-6 in doubles.
SMU's Natalia Bubien is another repeat selection and the lone junior on the All-Academic Team. With a 3.85 GPA in psychology, Bubien is a three-time C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal honoree and is currently ranked No. 88 in singles and No. 41 in doubles by the ITA. The junior is 9-6 in the No. 1 singles spot this spring and 11-4 at No. 1 doubles, including a victory over the nation's top doubles team from Notre Dame.
Tulsa's Agostino Santoro garnered her second All-Academic recognition with her 3.66 GPA in biochemistry. Santoro is also a three-time C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll member and six-time member of the Dean's List. The senior is 13-4 during the spring season at the No. 4, 5 and 6 singles slots and will be key to the Golden Hurricane's defense of the 2007 conference championship title.
Rice sophomore Julie Chao, the reigning C-USA Freshman of the Year, is an economics major with a 3.60 GPA. As the Owls' primary No. 1 singles and doubles player, Chao has posted a 20-9 singles record and a 17-9 mark in doubles. She was a recipient of the 2007 ITA Women's Scholar Athlete Division I-A Award in 2007 and is a two-time selection to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll. Chao was also named the C-USA Player of the Month in September 2007 after making the championship match of the top flight of the 27th Annual Rice Classic.
UCF senior Anna Yakimchenkova rounds out the 2008 squad. Yakimchenkova is 16-9 on the doubles court this season, which already ties a career-high for most doubles victories in a season. The three-time C-USA Academic Honor Roll selection, with a 3.72 GPA in accounting, was also tabbed as an ITA Scholar Athlete in 2006.
The 2008 Conference USA Women's Tennis Championship gets underway this Thursday with three first-round matches at the John E. Hoff Courts on the campus of the University of Houston. The quarterfinals are slated for Friday, beginning at 11 a.m. ET, while the semifinals are Saturday, followed by the championship match on Sunday.
East Carolina, seeded eighth for this year's event, will open tourney play Thursday by facing No. 9 UAB beginning at 11 a.m.
2007-08 C-USA WOMEN'S TENNIS ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM