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April 23rd, 2009
Kruse named top SLC tennis rookie


After winning 10 of her 11 league matches, Texas State junior Kiki Kruse has been named the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year and an All-Southland Conference First Team selection in a vote by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.

A first-year transfer and native of Klingelbach, Germany, Kruse helped Texas State finish conference play with a team dual match record of 7-4.

Texas State’s Ashley Ellis was chosen an All-SLC Second Team selection at the No. 2 position and Mackenzie Farmer was named a Second-Team choice at the No. 6 position. Ellis finished the regular season with a 7-3 record in singles play against SLC teams. Farmer was 6-3 record against SLC opponents.

Sam Houston State senior Irina Sotnikova was named the SLC Player of the Year and an automatic ALL-SLC First Team performer after she went undefeated with a 10-0 record at the No. 1 position in league play. Stephen F. Austin’s Alina Shazhko was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year. Texas-Arlington (UTA) head coach Diego Benitez was selected as the Coach of the Year.

A native of Riga, Latvia, Sotnikova and senior teammate Peta Taylor netted a first-team selection at No. 1 doubles. The duo boasted an impressive 9-1 mark at the position, losing out on an undefeated record in the final week of the season. Taylor was also a second-team selection at No. 3 singles.

Texas State and UTA were the only two schools to have three players earn All-Conference First and Second-Team honors in singles play. Northwestern State had one singles player and three doubles team earn All-SLC distinction, while Sam Houston State had two singles and one doubles team earn All-Conference honors.

Second-team selections include Southeastern Louisiana senior Iva Velkovska at No. 1 singles, and the Texas State duo of senior Ashley Ellis and junior Mackenzie Farmer at Nos. 2 and 6 singles, respectively.

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