Published 11:18 pm Friday, July 28, 2017

BEAUMONT — Five members of the Lamar women’s tennis team have been named 2017 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar-Athletes, ITA officials announced.

The Cardinals named to the list are freshman Jasmin Buchta, senior Katya Lapayeva, junior Stephanie Marchena, senior Talisa Merchiers and senior Anna Spengler.

LU’s group of honorees recorded one of the best seasons in program history in 2017. Big Red posted 17 wins, including an 8-3 (.727) Southland Conference record, to earn the No. 2 overall seed in the Southland Conference Championship tournament.

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The Cardinals’ 17-win season was the highest win total since 2011, and goes down as a top-five single-season performance in program history.

Following the year, Lapayeva was named SLC Athlete of the Year becoming the third player in program history to receive the honor, and the first since 2010. She was also named 2017 SLC Student-Athlete of the Year as the Cardinals swept the conference’s male and female student-athlete of the year awards.

Lapayeva ended the season tied for the conference lead in singles victories posting a 19-3 (.864) record despite having played at No. 1 singles all year. Lapayeva teamed up with classmate Anna Spengler to post 11 doubles wins on the season.

In addition to Lapayeva, Spengler and Buchta also were recognized on the All-Southland squad.

To be nominated for the ITA All-Academic Team award, team must maintain a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average, and all letterwinners must be factored into the GPA. Individuals must maintain a 3.5 GPA to be nominated for the scholar-athlete award.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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