OXFORD, Miss. – In addition to finishing the 2012 season in the nation’s top 20, the Ole Miss women’s tennis team enjoyed an excellent year in the classroom, earning the ITA All-Academic Team Award for the 16th consecutive time, while three players earned ITA Scholar-Athlete recognition.
The Rebels, who finished the year ranked No. 18 in the country, are one of four teams (Alabama, Baylor and Florida are the others) to finish the year ranked in the nation’s top 20 and earn this award.
This award honors teams with outstanding academic achievements, requiring a minimum overall 3.2 grade point average to be considered. The Rebels posted a 3.38 cumulative team GPA for the year.
“This is another great achievement by the players. It shows that they are not only doing an excellent job on the courts, but in the classroom,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “When you win it this many years in a row, people think it’s easy, but it takes a lot of hard work. To be one of only four teams to earn this distinction and finish ranked in the top 20 is a significant achievement, and we are very proud of the players.”
The Rebels (18-9) earned their fourth straight NCAA appearance, hosted the NCAA first and second rounds for the first time since 1999 and finished among the top four in the overall SEC standings for the second time in three years. The 18 wins are the most since the 1999 team posted 21. The Rebels also advanced to the National Team Indoor Final 16 for the first time since 2000.
Three players were recognized as ITA Scholar-Athletes: Gabby Rangel, Caroline Rohde-Moe and Julia Jones. To be eligible for ITA Scholar-Athlete recognition student-athletes must have a GPA of 3.50 or higher for the year. Rangel led the team with a 3.92 GPA to earn the honor for the fourth time in her career. Rohde-Moe posted a 3.88, and Jones finished her first year with a 3.84. Both earned All-SEC honors as well.
The Rebels earned numerous academic honors last year, as Rangel was a finalist for the SEC Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship, received a Taylor Medal (highest academic honor at Ole Miss), was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated with highest honors from the Croft Institute for International Studies. Fellow senior Kristi Boxx also graduated. Abby Guthrie and Erin Stephens joined Rangel, Rohde-Moe, Jones and Boxx on the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
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