VALDOSTA, GA – The Valdosta State Blazer and Lady Blazer tennis teams were well-represented in the 2014 All-GSC team, as six student-athletes received All-GSC honors in a release by the Gulf South Conference office on Thursday. In addition, Sabrina Schmidt was named the 2014 GSC Freshman-of-the-Year.
Schmidt has made huge contributions to the Lady Blazer tennis team during the 2014 season, and the opposition has taken notice. In a poll of tennis coaches throughout the Gulf South Conference, Schmidt was chosen as the 2014 Freshman-of-the-Year, which marked the second time during the past three years that the honor has been bestowed upon a member of the Valdosta State women’s tennis team. The previous VSU recipient was Michelle Fischer, who received the same honor near the conclusion of the 2012 season.
Serving as one-half of the Lady Blazers top doubles contingent, Schmidt teamed up with Fischer at No. 1 this season to compile a 10-5 record. The Neunkirchen, Bayern, Germany native fell just one time in singles play during the regular season, and her 13-1 record was strong enough to place her in a tie for the top singles record on the squad.
Landing a spot on the All-GSC First Team for the first time in her career was Laura Ubeda. The sophomore finished with an 11-3 regular season record in singles play and strung together seven wins against just two losses in doubles. Fischer joins Ubeda as a First Team selection after representing the Lady Blazers at No. 1 in both singles and doubles play for the duration of the 2014 season. The honor for Fischer marks her third straight selection to the Gulf South Conference First Team, a feat that has been achieved only 20 times in the history of the GSC.
Both Jennifer Rink and Schmidt also received honors as All-GSC Second Team selections. Rink’s recognition comes on the heels of a 7-6 record against a high level of competition at both No. 2 and No. 3 in singles play, along with an 8-6 mark in doubles action, a majority of which was played at No. 2.
As for the men’s squad, both a freshman and senior received honors, as Francisco Yim Kim and Mario Navarro Bayo earned spots on the 2014 All-GSC First Team.
Yim Kim’s regular season consisted of string of matches against some of the best players in the nation at No. 1 singles, and the freshman answered the call with an 8-7 record. In addition, the Asuncion, Paraguay native constructed an 8-9 record at No. 1 doubles. Navarro Bayo’s honor came after an 8-5 record at No. 2 singles on the season and a 10-5 overall singles stint. The senior also played a majority of his doubles matches at No. 1 while putting together a 9-8 effort overall.
The Blazers and Lady Blazers currently stand at the No. 5 and No. 7 spots in the NCAA South Regional rankings, respectively. Both teams are awaiting the release of the final regional rankings next week, which will indicate the layout of each team’s postseason schedule for the remainder of the 2014 season.