JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 21, 2014) – Balancing a rigorous athletic regiment with a full academic workload is no easy task; however, three ETSU teams managed to not only toe the delicate balance, but conquer it.
All while maintaining team GPAs of 3.60 or higher during the spring, ETSU’s women’s golf team and men’s and women’s tennis teams each capped their tenures in the Atlantic Sun conference in familiar fashions: by winning league championships.
On April 16, the ETSU women’s golf squad, ranked as high as No. 43 by GolfStat.com, took home its second consecutive Atlantic Sun title to earn a spot in the NCAA East Regional in Tallahassee, Fla.
Just four days later, both ETSU tennis teams followed suit, with the men clinching their eighth consecutive league title and the women winning the program’s fourth Atlantic Sun Championship.
However, perhaps even more impressive than the teams’ accomplishments on the field of play were their accolades off it.
Each squad saw a student-athlete named Atlantic Sun Scholar Athlete of the Year for their respective sports while maintaining impressive team GPAs of 3.60 or higher.
Junior women’s golfer Gabriella Wahl (Heidenheim, Germany), an All-Atlantic Sun First Team selection, won the award after maintaining a 3.65 GPA and helping the Bucs to their third league title in seven years.
As a team, the women’s golf squad accrued a cumulative GPA of 3.602, while also seeing three other student-athletes receive All-Atlantic Sun honors. Vivienne Chin (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia) joined Wahl on the All-Atlantic Sun First Team, while Sian Evans (Gilligham, England) and Linda Dobele (Ogre, Latvia) earned spots on the Second Team and All-Freshman team, respectively.
Meanwhile, the ETSU men’s and women’s tennis teams combined to place a league-best seven student-athletes on the Atlantic Sun All-Academic Team, including Ismael Merino (Lima, Peru) and Jessica Brumit (Elizabethton, Tenn.), the A-Sun Men’s Tennis Scholar Athlete of the Year and Women’s Tennis Scholar Athlete of the Year, respectively.
Merino maintained an impressive 3.92 during his freshman campaign, earning a spot on the All-Atlantic Sun Second Team and helping the Bucs to their eighth consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. On the women’s side, Brumit held a nearly impeccable 3.98 GPA and also earned All-Atlantic Sun Second Team honors.
As a team, the men’s tennis squad finished the spring semester with a cumulative GPA of 3.801, with the women’s squad close behind with a 3.748.
Earlier in the spring, women’s tennis player Sofia Espana (Mexico City, Mexico) emerged from a field of hundreds of candidates to receive the NCAA’s prominent Ethnic Minority Women’s Enhancement Programs’ Postgraduate Scholarship for Careers in Athletics.
The academic and athletic excellence of the three aforementioned teams will help ETSU make a seamless transition as it rejoins the Southern Conference next season.
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