May 23, 2012
FRISCO, Texas – UT Arlington senior Maria Martinez-Romero has been named the 2012 Southland Conference Women’s Tennis Student-Athlete of the Year, the league office announced Wednesday in conjunction with the release of the Women’s All-Academic Tennis Teams.
A three-time all-academic team member, Martinez-Romero posted a 3.64 grade-point average with a double major in broadcast journalism and Spanish. The Nules, Spain, native went 10-1 at the No. 1 position to earn first-team all-conference honors and was also awarded the B.G. Wilson Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an award given at UT Arlington to one male and female student-athlete who exemplifies excellence and commitment to academics and athletics. Martinez-Romero joins Anette Rozkalne (2004) as the only Maverick to win this award and is the third student-athlete to be named player of the year and student-athlete of the year in the same season.
UT Arlington is one of five teams to earn two all-academic selections. Joining Martinez-Romero was senior Natalia Mayuk, a second-team all-conference member at No. 3 singles. The Belgoro, Russia, native posted a 3.37 GPA in finance along with a 9-2 mark in conference singles play.
Northwestern State, Stephen F. Austin, UTSA and Texas State also claimed two student-athletes on the all-academic teams. Northwestern State’s Olga Bazhanova and Andrea Nedorostova were named to the first-team and each earned their second appearances on the all-academic teams. Bazhanova, a first-team all-conference selection at No. 1 doubles, earned a 3.05 GPA in health and human performance. The Nikolaev, Ukraine, native posted a 9-2 conference record in No. 1 doubles to go with a 5-6 record in conference singles. Nedorostova’s GPA of 3.93 is the highest among all student-athletes on the all-academic teams. The Brno, Czech Republic, native earned second-team all-conference in singles for the third consecutive year, posting an 8-3 conference record.
Stephen F. Austin No. 2 doubles team Jithmie Jayawickrema and Alina Shazko also earned first-team all-academic honors. The duo was named first-team all-conference at No. 2 doubles with an 8-0 conference record to go with two victories at the No. 1 doubles position. Jayawickrema, a junior from Colombo, Sri Lanka, posted a 3.5 GPA in International Business while Shazhko, a senior from Simferopol, Ukraine, is making her second all-academic appearance with a 3.88 GPA in biochemistry.
UTSA’s Kavya Menon and Isabelle Jonsson earned second-team all-academic honors. Menon, a junior from Plano, Texas, posted a 3.65 GPA in business while recording nine victories at the No. 4 singles position and eight wins at No. 3 doubles this season. Jonsson, a sophomore from Eskilstuna, Sweden, earned second-team all-conference at No. 2 singles with a 14-8 record while posting a 3.2 GPA in business management.
Texas State’s Mariana Perez earned first-team honors while Jessica Kahts was named to the second-team. Perez, a first-team all-conference selection at No. 3 doubles, went 10-0 in conference doubles this season and finished with a 7-4 mark in conference singles play. The Bucaramanga, Columbia, native earned a 3.44 GPA as a junior in psychology. Kahts, a second-team all-conference selection at No. 1 singles and doubles, led Texas State with a 9-2 record in conference singles and posted an 8-3 record in conference doubles. The sophomore from Benoni, South Africa, earned a 3.03 GPA with a double major in exercise and sports science and pre-physical therapy.
Rounding out the all-academic selections are Lamar junior Natalia Mayagoitia and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi junior Mia Matuszak. Mayagoitia earned all-academic honors after posting a 3.54 GPA in psychology. The Monterey, Mexico, native went 7-4 in conference singles this season and tied for second on the team with the most singles victories (10).
Matuszak, a Katy, Texas, native, earned a 3.57 GPA in mechanical engineering while leading the Islanders to their first tournament appearance in program history. Matuszak went 6-2 in conference singles play and clinched the team’s tournament berth with a come-from-behind win at Texas State.
The Southland Conference awards committee, which consists of one administrator from each of the 12 member schools, voted for the student-athlete of the year. The student-athlete of the year award is presented to the one male and one female student-athlete who achieve excellence in both academics and athletics. All nominees shall have earned at least a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale and demonstrated achievement in athletics for at least two years at the nominating institution.
The all-academic teams are voted on by the head coaches, sports information directors and academic/compliance administrators from each Southland university. Student-athletes must possess a 3.0 cumulative GPA, have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution and participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s competition to qualify for the all-academic squad. Student-athletes earn automatic qualification onto the Southland Conference All-Academic Team if they maintain a GPA of 3.0 and were also named first-team All-Southland Conference and/or the CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine All-Academic District VI At-Large team.
2012 Southland Conference Women’s Tennis All-Academic Team
Name School Cl. Hometown GPA Major
Maria Martinez-Romero* (1,3): UT Arlington Sr. Nules, Spain 3.64 Broadcast Journalism/Spanish
Olga Bazhanova (1,2): Northwestern State Sr. Nikolaev, Ukraine 3.05 Health and Human Performance
Andrea Nedorostova (2): Northwestern State Jr. Brno, Czech Republic 3.93 Mass Communications
Jithmie Jayawickrema (1): Stephen F. Austin Jr. Colombo, Sri Lanka 3.50 International Business
Alina Shazhko (1,2): Stephen F. Austin; Sr. Simferopol, Ukraine 3.88 Biochemistry
Mariana Perez (1): Texas State Jr. Bucaramanga, Columbia 3.44 Psychology
Name School Cl. Hometown GPA Major
Natalia Mayagoitia: Lamar Jr. Monterey, Mexico 3.54 Psychology
Natalia Mayuk: UT Arlington Sr. Belgoro, Russia 3.37 Finance
Isabelle Jonsson: UTSA So. Eskilstuna, Sweden 3.20 Business Management
Kavya Menon: UTSA Jr. Plano, Texas 3.65 Business
Mia Matuszak: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Jr. Katy, Texas 3.57 Mechanical Engineering
Jessica Kahts: Texas State So. Benoni, South Africa 3.03 Exercise and Sports Science/ Pre-Physical Therapy
*2012 Southland Student-Athlete of the Year
2Two-time All-Academic selection
3Three-time All-Academic selection