Athens, Ga. – Head Coach Jeff Wallace highlights three yearly awards for the Georgia Women’s Tennis team announced by the conference Thursday, afternoon.
Wallace, in his 36th season, was awarded his sixth SEC Coach of the Year honors after leading the No. 3 Bulldogs to both the SEC Regular Season Title and the SEC Tournament Title this season, as well as a 20-1 overall record and the team’s fifth undefeated conference schedule at 13-0.
Sophomore Lea Ma was named the league’s first ever Newcomer of the Year, an award designated for current sophomores who were not eligible to win SEC Freshman of the Year last year during conference play due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ma is 14-4 overall and 13-3 in dual match play after sitting out the fall season. In doubles, her and partner, junior Meg Kowalski, has 18 wins on the season, the most on the team and lead the team in SEC wins with 10. She was named SEC Newcomer of the Week earlier this season on Feb. 24.
Senior Katarina Jokic was awarded the conference’s Player of the Year after going 24-1 overall and finished a perfect 15-0 in dual match action. She is 7-0 against those ranked in the top-50 and had the best win of her career against No. 3 Alexa Graham of North Carolina. In doubles, she is her and partner Ariana Arseneault have picked up 14 wins, with five of those being against top-10 opponents. Their best win of the season came in the SEC Tournament against the No. 1 duo in the country, Akvile Parazinskaite and Fiona Arresse. She was named SEC Player of the Week four times this season, the most by any women’s tennis athlete since the weekly honors began in 2000.
Additionally, four Bulldogs were named First Team All-SEC, leading the conference in players selected to either first or second All-SEC teams. Jokic, Ma, Kowalski and senior Morgan Coppoc were all named First Team All-SEC. This is the first time being named first team for Kowalski, Ma and Coppoc. Both Kowalski and Coppoc were named Second-Team All-SEC in 2019. This is the third time Jokic has been named First Team All-SEC.
The Bulldogs are preparing for the NCAA Tournament and are awaiting a bracket and regional locations which will be announced Monday, May 3 at 6 p.m.
Head Coach Jeff Wallace On being named SEC Coach of the Year… “Anytime a coach wins the coach of the year award, it is a great reflection on the team and the success they have had. Our team has had such a great year and I want to give a lot of credit to our associate head coach Drake Bernstein, who has been instrumental in our success here at Georgia.”
Associate Head Coach Drake Bernstein On Lea Ma being named SEC Newcomer of the Year… “We are excited for Lea earning Newcomer of the Year. She’s put together a fantastic season in both singles and doubles, but to see, her growth has been the most impressive part of her season. Both she and Kat [Katarina Jokic] are a blast to work with every day and it’s great to see their work be recognized.”
On Katarina Jokic being named SEC Player of the Year… “Kat has obviously had an incredible career as a Georgia Bulldog and continued to be a rock for our team both on and off the court. This is a well-deserved honor for her. Additionally, while these two were recognized as player and newcomer of the year, I think that they would agree that their teammates have played large role in their success. The seven other girls on the team have been there to support them and definitely deserve a big assist in these honors.”
Full List of Awards
First Team All-SEC Indianna Spink, Arkansas McCartney Kessler, Florida Katarina Jokic, Georgia Meg Kowalski, Georgia Lea Ma, Georgia Morgan Coppoc, Georgia Akvilė Paražinskaitė, Kentucky Fiona Arrese, Kentucky Sabina Machalova, Ole Miss Emma Antonaki, Mississippi State Mia Horvit, South Carolina Tatiana Makarova, Texas A&M Christina Rosca, Vanderbilt
Second Team All-SEC Alba Cortina Pou, Alabama Selin Ovunc, Auburn Carolyn Ansari, Auburn Ida Jarlskog, Florida Marlee Zein, Florida Paris Corley, LSU Taylor Bridges, LSU Safiya Carrington, LSU Tiphanie Fiquet, Ole Miss Magda Adaloglou, Mississippi State Bronte Murgett, Missouri Megan Davies, South Carolina Rebeka Mertena, Tennessee Daria Kuczer, Tennessee
All-Freshman Loudmilla Bencheikh, Alabama Anna Parkhomenko, Alabama Indianna Spink, Arkansas Morgan Cross, Arkansas Sara Dahlstrom, Florida Fiona Arrese, Kentucky Anessa Lee, Vanderbilt
Player of the Year Katarina Jokic, Georgia
Freshmen of the Year Indianna Spink, Arkansas
Newcomer of the Year Lea Ma, Georgia
Coach of the Year Jeff Wallace, Georgia