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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Stoiana named SEC Player of the Year, Perez earns Freshman of the Year honors

Photo by Photo by Connor May
Junior Mary Stoiana reacts to her winning set at Texas A&M’s match against Florida on Sunday, March 3, 2024, at the Mitchell Tennis Center. (© Connor May/The Battalion)

Texas A&M women’s tennis is still on its quest for a national title, but several players have already captured hardware to take home.

Junior Mary Stoiana, the top-ranked player in the nation, achieved SEC Player of the Year status for the second season in a row while Lucciana Perez was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year. Sophomores Nicole Khirin and Mia Kupres also joined Stoiana as First Team All-SEC recipients.

The conference announced the awards on Wednesday, April 24, which are voted on by the SEC’s 14 coaches. They are not allowed to vote for their own players.

A year removed from being the first Aggie to be named SEC Player of the Year, Stoiana became the conference’s first player to win the honor back-to-back since 2016. She went 19-2 in singles action, including an 11-1 mark in SEC play. The Connecticut product picked up six wins over top-40 opponents and two top-10 victories.

Stoiana became the conference’s winningest player for the second year in a row. She formed the country’s No. 7 doubles tandem alongside Kupres, going 6-1 against SEC opponents, featuring four ranked wins.

A native of Lima, Peru, Perez earned the program’s first Freshman of the Year accolade. She put together a 10-3 record in conference play, tied for the most wins by a freshman and on the highest-ranked courts. Perez teamed up with junior Jeanette Mireles for six doubles victories and made Second Team All-SEC plus the All-Freshman team.

Khirin went 10-1 in SEC singles matches in addition to an appearance in the Billie Jean King Cup as a representative of Israel. She coupled with fifth-year Sydney Fitch in doubles, where they led the Aggies with nine wins and two losses.

Kupres built on her 2023 Second Team All-SEC and All-Freshman selections with an upgrade to First Team. In addition to being a doubles force with Stoiana, she brought an 8-2 mark to Court 3 in singles.

A&M now turns to the NCAA Tournament, with its opponents and location for the first two rounds being announced on Monday, April 29 at 5:30 p.m. Individual championship competitors will be released on Tuesday, April 30.

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About the Contributor
Luke White
Luke White, Sports Editor
Luke White is a junior telecommunication media studies major and sport management minor from Round Rock, Texas. He has served as head sports editor since May 2023.
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