MACON, Ga. – Stetson University women’s tennis player Diana Bukajeva was named Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, while four other Hatters were given post-season honors, the conference office announced Wednesday.
Bukajeva, a senior from Riga, Latvia, compiled a 16-4 record in singles play at the No. 1 position this season and took home A-Sun Player of the Week honors on two occasions. She was the lone Stetson representative on the conference’s first team but she is no stranger to the honor as she was named to the All-Conference Second Team as a junior, a year ago.
Joining Bukajeva on the A-Sun’s post-season awards list were Lindsey Cable and Eveline Lepinay who made the Second Team as a doubles pair. Cable a senior and Lepinay a sophomore earned a 13-3 record in 18 matches playing together at the No. 3 position.
Lepinay also garnered post-season conference honors in her singles play, making her the only Hatter with the unique distinction of earning spots on the A-Sun's post-season team in both categories. The Quebec City, Quebec , native won 11 of 12 matches playing mostly at the No. 5 spot, with just one loss and two going unfinished. She ended the regular season winning 11 straight, following an opening season defeat at No. 24 Florida State.
Not to be outdone by their upperclassmen, freshmen Isabella Fernandez and Carolina Meregalli also made a splash when it came to post-season conference honors. The pair were unanimous selections to the Atlantic Sun’s All-Freshman Team for their performances during their first season of collegiate competition.
Fernandez, from Caracas, Venezuela, primarily played at the No. 3 singles position, earning an 8-6 record in 15 matches. She also teamed up with Player of the Year, Diana Bukajeva for the majority of the season in doubles play, earning an 8-4 mark in 13 matches as a pair.
Meregalli, from Milan, Italy, posted a mark of 8-3 in 13 matches during her freshman season. She saw most of her time at the No. 6 slot, winning seven matches in-a-row at one point.
This is the second straight season Stetson has seen at least five of its players garner Atlantic Sun post-season honors as least season, players were awarded six slots on the First, Second and All-Freshmen teams.
The Hatters finished the regular season at 16-5 overall and 5-3 in conference play. They earned a No. 4 seed in this year’s A-Sun Championship and will take on No. 5 Mercer, Thursday, Apr. 17 in Jacksonville in the tournament’s first round.