women’s tennis

Sports: Mustangs take C-USA Player, Freshman of the Year honors

SMU tennis players Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra MalyarchikovaSophomore Marta Lesniak was named 2010 Conference USA Women’s Tennis Player of the Year, and Shahzoda Hatamova was selected C-USA Freshman of the Year, the league announced May 6. Lesniak (28-5) is the highest ITA-ranked singles player in Conference USA at No. 28. The four-time C-USA Player of the Week and October 2009 Player of the Month also received the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Singles Championship beginning May 26 in Athens, Georgia. Hatamova is 27-8 on the season with 19-4 dual match mark and went 7-1 against C-USA competition.

The No. 31 SMU women’s tennis team led C-USA with five All-Conference honorees. Lesniak and fellow sophomore Aleksandra Malyarchikova (left to right in photo right) each made the first team for the second straight season. First-year players Hatamova and Edyta Cieplucha each made the second team. Senior Pavi Francis was selected to the third team. The team (23-4) plays Pepperdine (12-1) in the first round of the NCAA Team Championship May 14 in Stanford, California, at 1 p.m. CT. Read more.

SMU men's tennis player Artem BaradachJunior Kelly Kraft has been named the 2010 C-USA Golfer of the Year, as chosen by the league’s 11 head coaches, as announced by the conference office May 4. Kraft was ranked as high as No. 41 in the nation this season by Golfweek magazine when he entered the 2010 C-USA Championship, where he finished 9th overall. He was also named a first-team All-C-USA performer. The men’s golf team awaits word on a 2010 NCAA Tournament berth, scheduled to be announced May 10. Read more.

Junior men’s tennis player Artem Baradach (left) received a selection to the 2010 NCAA Singles Championships, as announced by the NCAA May 5. Currently ranked No. 59 in the ITA, Baradach tallied a 16-7 record this season at the No. 1 slot and earned a 4-3 spot against nationally-ranked opponents. Of his 16 wins, 12 were won in straight sets. Read more.

Sports: Svendsen named C-USA Swimmer of the Year

SMU swimmer Therese Svendsen Sophomore Therese Svendsen (right) was named the 2010 Conference USA Swimmer of the Year on April 16 following her 13th-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke at the NCAA Championships held last month in Indianapolis, Indiana. At the C-USA Championships in Houston in February, Svendsen posted an NCAA “A” qualifying time of 52.65 seconds with her 1st-place finish in the 100 back. She also won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:54.98, helping the Mustangs to their 5th consecutive conference title. Svendsen was named C-USA Freshman of the Year in 2009. Read more.

The No. 27 women’s tennis team is the top seed in the 2010 Conference USA Championship running April 22-25 in Tulsa. The defending champion Mustangs (22-3) received a bye for the 1st round and will face the winner of the April 22 match between No. 8 seed Southern Miss and No. 9 seed Memphis on April 23. The team enters the championship with three ITA-ranked singles players. Sophomore Marta Lesniak is 28-5 and ranked No. 29, sophomore Aleksandra Malyarchikova is ranked No. 114 with 24-5, and first-year player Edyta Cieplucha ranks No. 116 with a 16-1 record. Read more.

SMU golfer Matt Schovee Sophomore Matt Schovee (left) has been named to the 2010 Conference USA Men’s Golf All-Academic Team, announced April 22. The team is chosen by C-USA men’s golf media relations directors and consists of students who have earned a 3.20 cumulative grade point average or better and are a regular participant on their team. Schovee, who plans to major in business, ranks 2nd on the squad with a 73.53 stroke average and carries a 3.67 G.P.A. He placed 5th at the National Invitational Tournament with a 215 and helped SMU to the team title at the Adams Cup with a 4th-place finish. The Mustangs will return to the links at the C-USA Men’s Golf Championship April 25-27 in Sorrento, Florida. Read more.

Sports: No. 29 women’s tennis celebrates Senior Day April 10

SMU tennis player Pavi FrancisThe No. 29 SMU women’s tennis team hosts Conference USA rival Rice in the 2010 regular-season finale at noon April 10 in SMU’s Turpin Tennis Center. It is also Senior Day – the final home match for seniors Nicole Briceno, Pavi Francis (right), Casey Kennedy and Sophie Quist. All 4 were members of the 2009 Conference USA championship team, and each will be honored before the event. The Mustangs have a record of 79-21 in dual matches over the past 4 seasons. Read more.

Sophomore Simone Du Toit won the discus event with a throw of 53.61m at the 2010 Texas Relays at the University of Texas April 2. The mark moved her into third in the NCAA season standings and surpassed her previous season-best of 51.13m, accomplished in March at the 2010 Bobby Lane Invitational. In addition, she finished 5th in the shot put with a throw of 16.00m on April 3. Fellow sophomore Victoria Leks finished 5th in the high jump with a mark of 1.71m, an outdoor season-best that also topped her winning performance at the 2010 Bobby Lane Invitational. Read more.

Additionally, the SMU distance medley relay team came in 5th with a time of 11:33.57. The squad included first-year runners Sara Sjokvist and Mary Alenbratt, sophomore Amber Evans and junior Kristine Eikrem-Engeset. Read more.

SMU golfer Brian FragakisFirst-year golfer Brian Fragakis (left) shot a 1-under par 215 to take medalist honors at the UTD Spring Classic at Sherrill Park Golf Club on March 30, carding rounds of 72, 68 and 75. Playing as an individual, Fragakis topped 75 other golfers from over a dozen different men’s golf teams from throughout the state. Read more.

Junior diver Audra Egenolf is among 12 recipients of the 2010 Conference USA Spirit of Service Award, announced by Commissioner Britton Banowsky March 31. Presented three times throughout the season, the award recognizes the community service efforts of the league’s student-athletes, based upon significant community service, good academic standing and participation in their sport. A member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Lambda Delta Honor Society, Egenolf’s academic achievements helped her team win the CSCAA Scholar-Athlete Award for its Fall 2009 performance in the classroom. She also posted a national 7th-place finish in the 3-meter board event. Read more.

CBS College Sports has selected 4 more 2010 SMU football games for national broadcast. Home games against Washington State (Sept. 18) and Houston (Oct. 23, Homecoming) will air on the network, as will road games at Navy (Oct. 16) and East Carolina (moved up to Nov. 26 from its original date of Nov. 27). To accommodate the national television broadcasts, the games against Washington State, Navy and Houston will begin at 2:30 p.m. CT. The regular season finale at East Carolina will begin at 1 p.m. CT.

SMU linebackers coach Joe HaeringThe new broadcasts give SMU 6 nationally televised games in 2010. ESPN previously selected the Mustangs’ Sept. 5 season opener at Texas Tech and the Sept. 24 Battle For The Iron Skillet against rival TCU. Read more.

Meanwhile, linebackers coach Joe Haering (right) will be one of ten 2010 inductees into the Western Chapter Of The Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the organization has announced. The former NFL assistant coach is in his second season as SMU’s linebackers coach, having joined the staff in the summer of 2009. Haering arrived on the Hilltop after serving 12 seasons as a college scout with the Buffalo Bills. Read more.

Hot Links: Mustangs take 3rd at C-USA Outdoor Championships

SMU thrower Simone du ToitThe track and field team finished 3rd at the 2009 Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium May 16. SMU finished the meet with 96 points, while Rice won with 131. Following the meet, first-year thrower Simone du Toit (right) was named Freshman of the Year. Read more.

First-year standout Marta Lesniak battled No. 4 seed and 2008 All-American Ani Mijacika of Clemson in the opening round of the 2009 NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championship, but fell in three sets (7-6, 4-6, 5-7) May 20 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. Lesniak and her doubles partner, freshman Aleksandra Malyarschikova, begin play for the doubles title May 21. Read more.

SMU golfer Kate AckersonGolfer Kate Ackerson (’09, left) has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). This marks the third straight season she has been so honored.

A four-time All-C-USA golfer, Ackerson was also a unanimous selection to the 2009 C-USA Women’s Golf All-Academic Team. Read more.

Hot Links: Women’s tennis begins NCAA title drive May 9

SMU tennis player Marta LesniakForty-six SMU student-athletes have earned the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal during the 2008-09 academic year. They are among 394 medal winners leaguewide, each of whom has achieved a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.75 or better. The 46 Academic Medal winners represent an increase of almost 25 percent for SMU, which had 37 medal-winners a year ago. See the complete list of winners here.

The No. 23 and Conference USA champion women’s tennis team will face No. 38 Texas A&M in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Championships at 11 a.m. May 9 at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco. First-year player Marta Lesniak (No. 59, right) will compete for the individual title as well as the doubles championship with partner Aleksandra Malyarchikova, also a first-year player. Currently C-USA’s top-ranked doubles team at No. 32, Lesniak and Malyarchikova went undefeated in 13 matches this spring. Read more.

SMU thrower Simone du ToitFirst-year thrower Simone du Toit (left) was named the Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week for the week of May 4, 2009. She posted the second-longest throw in the nation this season with a winning discus toss of 57.35m (188-02.0) at the Mean Green Twilight April 30, setting a school and stadium record and surpassing the NCAA Regional standard. Read more.

Meanwhile, the entire track and field team jumped 10 spots to a No. 23 ranking in this week’s U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) outdoor track and field poll. Three standouts combine to rank in the nation’s top 15 in five different events: Freshman Simone du Toit, ranked 2nd in the discus and 10th in the shot put; sophomore Silje Fjørtoft, ranked 3rd in the steeplechase and 12th in the 5,000m; and first-year competitor Viktoria Leks, ranked 15th in the high jump. Read more.

The men’s basketball team will be one of eight to play in the inaugural Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec. 22-25, 2009, as announced by ESPN Regional Television, Inc. The field includes Hawaii, College of Charleston, Saint Mary’s (California), UNLV, USC, Western Michigan and one team to be determined. The games will be played Dec. 22, 23 and 25 at the Stan Sheriff Center. This will be the Mustangs’ fourth trip to Honolulu for a tournament, but the first since the 1987-88 season. Read more.

Hot Links: Special-teams coach Frank Gansz dies at age 70

Frank GanszSMU Assistant Coach Frank Gansz passed away on April 27, 2009. He was 70. Considered perhaps the top special-teams coach in NFL history, he was starting his second season on the Hilltop.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my good friend,” said SMU Head Coach June Jones. “Frank has been a second father to me for the past 30 years and he has touched the lives of many, both at SMU and throughout the National Football League. I was lucky to have known Frank, and not only was he a wonderful person, but he was a father to everyone he has ever coached. He will live on with us.”

Gansz was a veteran of 38 seasons of coaching, 24 in the NFL and 14 in the collegiate ranks. “He was the guru of special teams,” former Kansas City Chiefs Vice President Lynn Stiles told the Kansas City Star. Gansz coached for the Chiefs throughout the 1980s and was special-teams coach for the St. Louis Rams during their Super Bowl-winning season in 1999. Read more.

Lauren Longbotham MeisnerThe No. 23 women’s tennis team will face No. 38 Texas A&M in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Championships at 11 a.m. May 9 at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco. The Mustangs received an automatic bid for winning the Conference USA title. Head Coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner (left) was named Conference USA Coach of the Year after leading SMU to its best season in program history First-year player Marta Lesniak was named Freshman of the Year and C-USA Singles Player of the Championship, as well as Outstanding Doubles Team of the Championship with freshman partner Aleksandra Malyarchikova. Read more.

Men’s golf team members Kelly Kraft and James Kwon have been selected as All-Conference USA performers for the 2008-09 season. Kraft was named to the first team for the second consecutive year, while Kwon was selected for the second team and the All-Freshman squad. The awards were voted on by the league’s 11 head coaches. Read more.

SMU punter Thomas MorsteadSenior punter Thomas Morstead (right) was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 5th round of the 2009 NFL Draft April 26. Morstead becomes SMU’s first NFL draft pick since 2007, when Justin Rogers, now with the Dallas Cowboys, was chosen by the New England Patriots. As the 164th overall selection, Morstead is SMU’s highest draft pick since the Saints took SMU linebacker Chris Bordano 161st overall in 1998. Read more.

Hot Links: Women’s tennis wins first C-USA championship

SMU Women's Tennis, 2009 Conference USA Champions

The women’s tennis team added a 17th game to its program-record winning streak with its 4-1 victory over top-seeded two-time defending champion Tulsa in the 2009 Conference USA Championship April 19 in Houston. Head Coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner led the 27-2 team to its first league title since becoming a member of C-USA and its first tournament title in program history. The team also received an automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Tennis Championships. NCAA selection announcements will air at approximately 5:20 p.m. Eastern time April 28 on ESPNews. Read more.

The women’s golf team has been honored by the NCAA with a public recognition award for the team’s latest multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) score – marking the 3rd straight season in which the program has been so honored. Awards are given each year to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent in each sport. The Mustangs were among 11 squads from C-USA and 767 teams NCAA-wide that received the recognition – 11.9 percent of the approximately 6,484 Division I teams. Read more.

SMU Athletics will offer jerseys, polos, T-shirts, shorts, jackets and shoes from various Mustang sports teams in a public “garage sale” April 25 during SMU’s 2009 Red & Blue Scrimmage. The event takes place in the concourse of Gerald J. Ford Stadium starting at noon and ending at the conclusion of the scrimmage.

A special pre-sale will be open only to SMU students, faculty and staff with SMU ID from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 24 in the Hall of Champions, 3rd floor, Loyd All-Sports Center. Methods of payment are cash or check only. Read more.

Hot Links: Equestrian team competes for national title

SMU equestrian team member Kristen CollinsThe equestrian team competes in the 2009 Varsity Equestrian National Championships against No. 6 seed Oklahoma State April 16 at the Heart of Texas Fair Complex in Waco. The Mustangs earned the No. 11 seed in the Hunt Seat division, which begins with fences at 9 a.m. followed by equitation on the flat at 1:30 p.m. Junior Kristen Collins (right) will lead the Mustangs as the only rider in the lineup to compete in both fences and equitation. Read more.

Sophomore Darren Walsh (below left) has been named to the 2009 Conference USA All-Academic men’s tennis team for excellence in the classroom and on the court. A computer science major with a 3.93 G.P.A. in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, Walsh also was named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and achieved an ITA doubles ranking of No. 33 with fellow sophomore Adham el-Effendi, posting a 15-4 overall record. Read more.

Meanwhile, senior Natalia Bubien has been named to the 2009 Conference USA All-Academic women’s tennis team. Bubien, who has a 3.86 G.P.A. and is ranked 1st in C-USA at No. 1 singles, is a psychology major with a minor in biological sciences in SMU’s Dedman College. A 4-time C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal and Honor Roll winner, Bubien was the 2007 Scholar Athlete of the Year. This her 3rd consecutive All-Academic Team honor. Read more.

SMU tennis player Darren WalshSophomore Kelly Kraft was named the Conference USA Golfer of the Week on April 15, 2009, based on his performance at the UMB Bank/Tiger Intercollegiate. Kraft shot an 8-under-par 208 (68-69-71) to medal at The Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia, Missouri, on April 14. This is Kraft’s 5th career weekly honor and 3rd of the 2008-09 season. Read more.

Punter/kicker Mike Loftus and cornerback J.R. McConico, both incoming first-year football players, have been selected to play for USA Football’s 2009 Junior National Team, which will compete in the sport’s first junior world championship this summer. The 8-nation, 4-continent 2009 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Junior World Championship will take place June 27-July 5 in Canton, Ohio. Read more.

Hot Links: Fjørtoft sets world’s fastest time at Stanford Invitational

SMU distance runner Silje FjortoftSophomore distance runner Silje Fjørtoft (left) won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the fastest time run by any woman in the world this year at the 2009 Stanford Invitational March 27. Racing in a field of elite distance specialists, including some of the fastest in the world, she took the title in 9:56.73. Fjørtoft was named Conference USA Co-Athlete of the Week March 31 with UCF thrower Kelsey Poljansek. The Mustang cross-country team will compete April 2-4 at the 2009 Texas Relays in Austin. Read more.

Read more about Silje from the April 1, 2009 Daily Campus

Senior Kseniia Tokarieva earned Conference USA Player of the Week honors in women’s tennis March 31, 2009. She led the No. 24 Mustangs to a 5-0 winning streak during the previous week, defeating UALR, No. 28 DePaul, No. 59 Nevada, Louisville and No. 66 Wichita State. Tokarieva went 3-0 at No. 3 doubles and 2-0 at No. 6 singles. Currently, she is tied in 7th place for SMU career doubles victories with 55. Read more.

Former SMU men's soccer coach Jim BenedekTwo Mustang football games for 2009 have been slated for national television broadcasts. The annual State Farm DFW Duel – Battle for the Iron Skillet against TCU will be televised on The Mtn. with a 7 p.m. kickoff Oct. 3, and the SMU-Houston game will be aired on CBS College Sports at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24, starting at 6:30 p.m. In addition, due to a scheduling conflict, the SMU-Tulane game will now be played on Nov. 2. Read more.

A memorial service for Jim Benedek (right), the first soccer coach in SMU history, will be held at 11 a.m. April 4 at Moody Coliseum. A reception will take place afterward from 1-3 p.m. at Campisi’s Egyptian Restaurant on Mockingbird Lane. Benedek, who died March 30, coached the Mustang men for their first 9 seasons, 1975-83. He led the team to a 129-31-15 record and its first three NCAA Tournament appearances in 1979, 1980 and 1983. His .765 winning percentage remains the highest in school history. Read more.

Hot Links: Spring 2009 football practice begins March 30

SMU basketball player Bamba FallThe football team will kick off spring practice March 30 as the Mustangs begin their preparations for the 2009 season. Head Coach June Jones and his staff will conduct 14 practice sessions prior to the annual Red-Blue Scrimmage, which is set for 1 p.m. April 25. Read more.

The men’s basketball banquet honoring the 2008-09 team will be held at 7 p.m. April 16 in the Doubletree Campbell Center on North Central Expressway. Head coach Matt Doherty, along with graduating senior Bamba Fall (right), will speak about the season and the future of SMU basketball. Read more.

The No. 24 women’s tennis team (20-2) completed a two-match sweep March 25 to collect their 8th and 9th consecutive wins against Arkansas-Little Rock (5-10) and No. 28 DePaul (15-3) at SMU’s Turpin Tennis Stadium. It was the first time in 21 years the Mustangs have achieved a 20-win season. The team returns to action March 27 in the 2009 Via Christi Collegiate Classic in Wichita, Kansas, with their first match set for 10 a.m. against Nevada. Read more.

SMU thrower Simone du ToitFirst-year thrower Simoné du Toit (left) won the shot put and finished 3rd in discus to lead the women’s track and field team in the 2009 Trojan Invitational at USC March 21. Senior Christina Mueller won the discus event with a throw of 50.28 meters. Read more.

The women’s swimming and diving team earned 19th place at the 2009 NCAA Championships March 21 at Texas A&M. The Mustangs collected points in the 200 medley relay, 400 and 800 free relays and the platform diving event. The men’s championship takes place March 26-28 at Texas A&M. Read more.

The SMU Athletic Department, in conjunction with the Lettermen’s Association, announced the newest class of its Athletics Hall of Fame March 25. The 2009 inductees – running back Eric Dickerson (’83), basketball player Jim Krebs (’57), swimmer Steve Lundquist (’83) and golfer Kyle O’Brien Stevens (’80) – will be honored at a dinner and induction ceremony at 7 p.m. May 1 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Read more.

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