Petro Named Player of the Year, First-Team All-Conference

Petro Named Player of the Year, First-Team All-Conference

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ATLANTA  – The SAA released the 2017 Women's Tennis postseason award winners on Thursday and, after voting by the league head coaches, Carlee Petro of Birmingham-Southern claimed Player of the Year honors. Sewanee's Ellie Czura captured Newcomer of the Year while Centre's Currie Martin earned the Coach of the Year nod from his peers.

After being named Newcomer of the Year as a freshman and a member of the All-Conference First Team each season she's played, Carlee Petro of Birmingham-Southern secured Player of the Year status in her junior season after an outstanding season on the courts. Petro posted a perfect 7-0 mark against SAA competition and ran up a 12-3 overall mark playing at No. 1 singles on the season. She paired with freshman Emily Whitlock on the Panthers' No. 1 doubles squad to amass an 8-6 overall record. Her season was highlighted by topping rival No. 10 Clementina Davila of Sewanee to secure the honor of the league's top player.

A freshman from Bluffton, S.C., Ellie Czura joined a loaded Tigers squad in 2017 and immediately stepped up to playing No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles for head coach Conchie Shackelford. Czura compiled a 10-5 singles mark to go along with 13-2 mark in doubles play in 2017, including playing up at the No. 1 line and defeating Millsaps' top performer Ashley Ford. Her outstanding play on the courts earned her the No. 12 ranking in the ITA Atlantic South Region as the Tigers get set for another NCAA Tournament postseason run.

Currie Martin has been the head coach at Centre for just two seasons but, under his leadership, the Colonels programs are on the rise, as evidenced by the women's climb to the No. 2 seed and spot in the 2017 SAA Championship match. Martin guided the 2017 Colonels to a 14-7 mark that included going 6-1 in conference play. The 14 victories were five more than Centre recorded last season and further underscore the upward trajectory of the program. Martin arrived at Centre after two very successful seasons as assistant men's and women's tennis coach at SAA rival Sewanee. A native Mississippian, Martin is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where he won over 110 matches in singles and doubles tennis with the Hilltoppers.

2017 SAA Women's Tennis All-Conference Award Winners
Player of the Year: Carlee Petro of Birmingham-Southern
Newcomer of the Year: Ellie Czura of Sewanee
Coach of the Year: Currie Martin of Centre

2017 SAA Women's Tennis All-Conference First Team
Carlee Petro of Birmingham-Southern
Neha Rao of Centre
Aliza Williams of Centre
Ashley Ford of Millsaps
Caroline Johnson of Oglethorpe
Clementina Davila of Sewanee 

2017 SAA Women's Tennis All-Conference Second Team
Lauren Byrket of Berry
Mary Cerny of Berry
Julia Lefler of Hendrix
Maggie Dabadie of Millsaps
Ellie Czura of Sewanee
Christina Merchant of Sewanee

2017 SAA Women's Tennis All-Conference Honorable Mention
Abigail Kent of Centre
Taylor Cranford of Oglethorpe
Shannon Cruz of Oglethorpe
Natalie Arnold of Rhodes
Caroline Doherty of Rhodes
Maggie Crumbliss of Sewanee
Darby Duvall of Sewanee
Haley Tucker of Sewanee