April 25, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vanderbilt women's tennis team had four players earn All-Southeastern Conference honors, highlighted by Jackie Wu earning First Team All-Conference recognition. Joining Wu were second team honorees Marie Casares and Lauren Mira, while Mira and Ashleigh Antal were named to the All-Freshman team.
The league announced the annual awards on Wednesday, April 25. Player of the Year went to Florida's Lauren Embree, while Lauren Herring of Georgia won Freshman of the Year. Jenny Mainz at Alabama was named Coach of the Year, while the Tide's Courtney McLane was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Wu has played number one singles for the Commodores all season long, posting a 13-9 record in dual meets while going 5-6 in the grueling Southeastern Conference. The Holmdel, N.J., native has also played a good chunk of the season at the top doubles position, with Wu and Mira posting a 7-2 mark at No. 1 doubles.
Wu, who is currently ranked No. 37 in the nation in singles by the ITA, receives All-SEC honors for the second time. She was Second Team All-SEC as a freshman.
Casares, who was named Second Team All-SEC and to the All-Freshman team, has posted a 22-9 record on the season. She has played a majority of her matches at three singles, where she has 6-1 in SEC play (overall 9-2 in league matches). She saved her best play for late, winning her last six regular season matches against No. 19 Tennessee, No. 7 Georgia, No. 16 Ole Miss, No. 62 Mississippi State and Kentucky.
The rookie from Quito, Ecuador, has been in-and-out of the ITA Top-125 all season, peaking at No. 81.
Mira, a second team selection, has posted a record of 27-10 on the season, including a 15-7 dual match record. She has played at number two singles all season long, going 15-6 and 8-3 in conference play. Mira has also partnered with Wu at number one singles for a majority of the year, going 7-2 during the spring. The pair has won seven of its last 10 matches.
The sophomore from Baton Rouge, La., is currently ranked No. 89 among the ITA's Top-125 singles players, and has been ranked as high as 69th in the nation.
Antal makes the All-Freshman team after going 17-5 during the spring and 8-3 in SEC play. She has played at four, five and six singles during he season, posting her best results at number five, where she is 10-2. She opened SEC play at number five singles, where she went 5-1, before being asked to move up to four singles, where she has posted a 3-2 record (both losses in three sets).
The Wilmington, N.C., native has also posted a 3-3 mark (all in SEC play) at number one doubles with Mira.
Wu is the first Vanderbilt player on the first team since 2010, when Catherine Newman received the honor. This season marks the first time since 2008 three Commodores have been named to the All-SEC First and Second teams.
The Commodores await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field on Tuesday, May 1. With an ITA team ranking of 26th, Vanderbilt expects to receive its 18th consecutive NCAA bid. First round play begins on Friday, May 11.