Women's Tennis Well Represented in SEC Postseason Awards

April 23, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The women's tennis team took home several Southeastern Conference postseason awards, which the league announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Jenny Mainz was named Coach of the Year, Erin Routliffe earned Co-Freshman of the Year honors, and Mary Anne Daines became the fourth-consecutive Scholar-Athlete of the Year from Alabama. In addition, Routliffe was First Team All-SEC and an All-Freshman selection, Maya Jansen and Luicelena Perez were both Second Team All-SEC picks and Danielle Spielmann an All-Freshman honoree.

This marks the third SEC Coach of the Year nod for Mainz, who also won the award in 2011 and 2012. She has led her squad to new heights this season, winning the SEC Championship for the first time while also reaching a program-best national ranking of No. 3. Heading into the NCAA tournament, the Crimson Tide has amassed 22 wins, which are already the most in a season under Mainz and the most for the program since 1984. Alabama also won its first match against Florida in 2014, ending a 37-match losing skid to the Gators.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with this exceptional group of girls," said Mainz. "This award is a 'team' award as all eight of our players, our support staff and Ricky Doverspike and Mari Muller are all responsible for the success we've enjoyed. Coach Battle and Kevin Almond, among many others, have played an integral role in our team's success as well. It's a total team effort."

Throughout her career, Daines has changed the face of the program and has been the consummate student-athlete both on and off the court. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 3.5 years with a bachelor of science in education, majoring in human performance exercise science, all while holding a 4.000 cumulative undergraduate GPA. Daines is currently enrolled in a Master's program in human environmental sciences majoring in sport management. She was the 2012 Elite 89 Award winner as well as a three-time ITA Scholar-Athlete and three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection. Daines has played at the No. 1 singles position throughout her entire career at Alabama and has been ranked nationally in singles and doubles all four seasons.

"I'm so pleased that our players have been recognized for their hard work and impressive performances on the court and in the academic arena," said Mainz. "Mary Anne is truly deserving of being named SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year. She's been a consummate student-athlete leading our team scholastically. Mary Anne has set the bar high for our team in graduating with a 4.0 in 3.5 years."

Routliffe has made an immediate impact in the Tide's lineup, leading Alabama in overall singles wins with 27, including a team-high nine wins against SEC opponents. She is 10-2 from the No. 3 spot in singles and 11-3 at No. 1 doubles in her first season at The Capstone. A two-time SEC Freshman of the Week, Routliffe has been ranked consistently throughout the season in singles and doubles and leads the Tide at the top of the lineup in doubles, earning a career-high ranking of No. 7 with Jansen. Together, they defeated nine nationally-ranked teams in doubles and clinched Alabama's 4-3 win over Florida.

"Erin has done an exemplary job of advancing her game through the season," said Mainz. "She has repeatedly stepped up in decisive moments this season giving Alabama a considerable boost in important situations. She's very worthy of being honored on the First Team ALL-SEC, Co-Freshman of the Year and named to the All-Freshman Team."

Jansen has six singles wins in SEC play as well as seven wins in doubles against league opponents. She has been ranked consistently throughout the season in singles and doubles and, paired with Routliffe, leads the Tide at the top of the lineup in doubles. Jansen has defeated a pair of nationally-ranked foes in singles as well as nine nationally-ranked teams in doubles and was named SEC Player of the Week on January 22, after having a stellar performance at the Wildcat Invite in her first weekend back from injury.

"Maya has soared this spring," said Mainz. "She has really risen to the occasion with some gutsy performances. Maya is our emotional leader on the court and has done a commendable job of permeating her infectious spirit on our team. It's incredible to see Maya earn the distinction of Second Team All-SEC."

Perez, member of the SEC All-Tournament Team and a two-time SEC Player of the Week, had two of the biggest clinching wins in program history this season. First, she had an over four-hour battle with Florida's Kourtney Keegan, 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(3), to send the experimental-format match into doubles, which Alabama would win. Her second clutch performance was a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Georgia's Mia King after trailing 2-6, 2-4, to clinch the 4-3 win over the Bulldogs and give the Tide its first SEC Championship. In her first season competing at Alabama, Perez is 13-1 overall and 8-0 in SEC play in singles and in the midst of a 12-match winning streak in singles. She also has 16 wins in doubles, including an 8-2 record against league opponents, and is ranked nationally in both singles and doubles.

"Luicelena has absolutely set this team on fire," said Mainz. "Luice's competitive spirit and tenacity are unmatched. She just keeps getting better and better through the season. I'm so glad to see Luice acknowledged on the Second Team All-SEC for her strong season."

Spielmann has recorded 20 overall singles wins this season with five of those coming against SEC opponents. She has also added a team-high 27 wins in doubles, including 10 in league play. Spielmann has played consistently at No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles in her first season at Alabama and has beaten three nationally-ranked opponents in singles and four in doubles. She has also been ranked nationally in both singles and doubles throughout the season.

"Danielle has done a creditable job of rallying at the top of the lineup in arguably the toughest league in the nation," said Mainz. "She is one of the best competitors we've seen at Alabama. Her best tennis is in front of her. It's gratifying to see Danielle honored on the All-Freshman Team."

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Player of the Year: Lauren Herring, Georgia
Freshman of the Year: Erin Routliffe, Alabama; Sydney Campbell, Vanderbilt
Coach of the Year: Jenny Mainz, Alabama
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Mary Anne Daines, Alabama

First Team All-SEC
Erin Routliffe, Alabama
Pleun Burgmans, Auburn
Alexandra Cercone, Florida
Brianna Morgan, Florida
Olivia Janowicz, Florida
Silvia Garcia, Georgia
Lauren Herring, Georgia
Maho Kowase, Georgia
Georgiana Patrasc, Mississippi State
Elixane Lechemia, South Carolina
Cristina Stancu, Texas A&M
Frances Altick, Vanderbilt

Second Team All-SEC
Luicelena Perez, Alabama
Maya Jansen, Alabama
Emily Flickinger, Auburn
Sofie Oyen, Florida
Aldila Sutjiadi, Kentucky
Joana Vale Costa, LSU
Julia Jones, Ole Miss
Cierra Gaytan-Leach, Missouri
Eve Repic, Tennessee
Saska Gavrilovska, Texas A&M
Marie Casares, Vanderbilt
Georgina Sellyn, Vanderbilt

All-Freshman Team
Erin Routliffe, Alabama
Danielle Spielmann, Alabama
Sydney Campbell, Vanderbilt
Joana Vale Costa, LSU
Saska Gavrilovska, Texas A&M
Eve Repic, Tennessee