The Liberty women's tennis program earned its status as a 2017 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team for a fifth straight year, as announced by the ITA on Tuesday.
The listing is comprised of programs with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.20 or higher. Liberty women's tennis posted a 3.34 GPA during the 2016-17 academic year and holds a 3.41 cumulative GPA.
In addition, Mariely Hassey, Emily Groeneveld, Evangeline Crist and Aleksandra Panchenko were each named to the 2017 ITA Scholar-Athlete team.
|The Liberty women's tennis program earned its status as a 2017 ITA All-Academic Team for a fifth straight year and placed four student-athletes on the 2017 ITA Scholar-Athlete team.|
"I'm proud of how hard our girls work in the classroom. It is a testament to their commitment to be excellent in all phases of their lives – academics, athletics, social and spiritual," stated Liberty Women's Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren. "I have no doubt that we will continue this level of excellence again this year."
Hassey's selection is her fourth consecutive appearance on the ITA Scholar-Athlete team. Groeneveld and Crist are both making their third appearances on the squad, while Panchenko is appearing on the team for the first time.
Hassey graduated with a bachelor's degree in human resource management and is working on a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree at Liberty. The Surprise, Az., native out her career second place all-time in program history in singles victories (69), including a team-best 20 singles triumphs as a senior.
Groeneveld, who is currently working on her master's degree in human services counseling: crisis response and trauma, was Liberty's representative on the Big South All-Academic team. During her senior season, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native finished tied for second on the squad in singles wins (17) and third in doubles victories (16). The senior closed out her playing career with the ninth-most doubles victories in Lady Flames' tennis history (49).
Crist, a business administration – digital marketing and advertising major, was named to the 2017 Big South All-Conference second team in singles and the VaSID All-State Doubles first team with partner Anna Dollar. Crist closed her junior campaign with 17 singles victories (tied for second on team) and 19 doubles wins (second on team). The Lilburn, Ga., native is currently third in Liberty women's tennis history with 67 singles victories, needing 21 wins to surpass the all-time leader, Jordan Jenkins (87 wins, 2008-11). She also sits at No. 3 in doubles wins with 74, needing 17 to surpass the all-time leader, Valerie Thong (90 wins, 2013-16).
Panchenko, who is undecided upon her major at this point, collected 13 total doubles wins and four singles victories as a sophomore. The Moscow, Russia, native teamed with fellow sophomore Rebekah Anderson for a Maroon doubles flight title at the season-opening Elon Fall Invitational.
In total, 720 teams and 3,908 student-athletes across all five divisions of college tennis were recognized. At the Division I level, 302 teams and 1,521 scholar-athletes were honored.