Fayetteville, N.C. - The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2015 All-Conference awards for women's tennis with a total of 30 student-athletes earning league recognition. N.C. Wesleyan's Natalia Lopez collected Player of the Year honors while her coach, Andres Amores, was named Coach of the Year. Joining them as honorees were Rachel Hui and Maria Fernanda Orona as First Team selections, Valeria Berber as a Second Team pick, and Sofia Gonzalez and Sofia Prado as Honorable Mentions.
Lopez, a sophomore from Maracaibo, Venezuela, collects her second consecutive individual conference honor after being named USA South Rookie of the Year last season. She becomes the first Bishop in history to earn Player of the Year accolades in the sport of women's tennis. Playing at the #1 singles position, Lopez earned a 16-4 overall record and a 12-0 mark against USA South opposition. At #1 doubles, Lopez teamed with Orona to post an 11-1 record during league play. For her efforts this season, she earned First Team All-Conference honors for the second consecutive year, while garnering USA South Player of the Week three times this spring.
In his second season at the helm of N.C. Wesleyan, Amores earns his first USA South Women's Coach of the Year honor. He becomes the first Bishop coach in history to collect the award in women's tennis. This spring, Amores led N.C. Wesleyan to the program's first-ever outright USA South regular season championship by posting an undefeated 12-0 record. The program had previously claimed a share of the 2012 crown. Overall, the Bishops are 12-2 and sit ninth in the latest ITA Division III Atlantic South Region Rankings.
Freshmen Hui and Orona were also named to the First Team. Playing #2 singles, Hui went 9-1 in USA South action, while Orona boasted a perfect 12-0 mark at #3. In doubles, Hui teamed with Gonzalez for an 11-0 mark in league play at the #2 position.
As a Second Teamer and All-Sportsmanship representative, Berber anchored #4 singles and #3 doubles alongside Prado, posting 10-0 marks at both positions in conference play. Gonzalez and Prado wrapped up Wesleyan's award-winners as Honorable Mentions. Playing the #5 and #6 positions, respectively, the two combined for a 19-0 record in singles action.
Rounding out the individual award winners was Meredith's Ran Zhang, who claimed Rookie of the Year accolades.
To view the entire 2015 USA South All-Conference team in women's tennis, please click here.
Wesleyan will take a 12-match winning streak into this weekend's USA South Conference Tournament. The 12 consecutive victories are a program-best and solidfy the 2015 season as the most successful in Bishop history. As the top seed, NCWC receives a first round bye and will face the winner of #4 Meredith/#5 Covenant on Saturday at 2:00pm. All matches will be played at the Slick Family Foundation Tennis Center on the Wesleyan campus.