College tennis: Fresno State, COS honored nationally for classroom work

The Fresno BeeJuly 10, 2014 

Fresno State's Anneka Watts, background, returns with her partner Sophie Watts in the foreground in the Mountain West Conference women's doubles tennis match Sunday, April 27, 2014 in Fresno, Calif. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA

ERIC PAUL ZAMORA — THE FRESNO BEE

Fresno State and College of the Sequoias earned team and individual honors when the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced its 2014 national All-Academic Teams and Scholar-Athletes on Thursday.

The Bulldogs women's squad, which won its first Mountain West tournament championship and led by conference Coach of the Year Ryan Stotland qualified for the NCAA Tournament, captured an ITA team award -- open to any member program that has a cumulative team GPA of 3.20 or above.

"I'm so impressed with how our women's tennis team handled this entire year and bought into the success we preach about being not only good on the court, but off the court as well," Stotland said. "This program has always preached being a student first, as that is the way it is written in student-athlete. The women's tennis team has achieved new heights by not only winning our first Mountain West Championship, but also by achieving a team GPA of 3.58, which happens to be the highest at Fresno State."

Five players off the women's tennis team were recognized as Scholar-Athletes: Sophomores Sophie Watts, Anneka Watts and Rana Sherif Ahmed and juniors Tanya Murtagh and Anne Susdorf. Eligible players must have a GPA of at least 3.50.

Bulldogs junior Sai Kartik Nakireddi and sophomore Nikolas Papic were men's ITA Scholar-Athlete winners.

Sequoias' women's team earned a team award and five players were honored individually.

Recognized as Scholar-Athletes were sophomores Amy Clifton, Diana Garcia, Morgan Cohen and freshmen Abby Gregory and Cecilia Felix.

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