MEDFORD, Mass. – For the second straight season, sophomore Mina Karamercan and junior Lauren Louks of the No. 6-ranked Tufts University women's tennis team were recognized with All-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) accolades, while senior captain Alexa Meltzer was named the Senior Sportswoman of the Year by the conference office on Thursday.
The three standouts led the Jumbos to a 14-6 overall record and a 6-3 mark in the NESCAC, with the 14 victories being the most for the program since the 2010-11 season. The trio was on the front line during a 5-4 win over visiting and No. 12 Amherst on April 19, which snapped the Mammoths' 32-match winning streak against the Jumbos and marked the first time Tufts defeated Amherst since 1991.
The women powered the squad to a 5-1 win against Amherst in the first round of the NESCAC Championship on May 5 in Williamstown, Massachusetts, allowing the team to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2011.
Karamercan was named to the All-Conference First Team in singles action and the second team on the doubles side, while Louks earned second-team acknowledgement in doubles competition. The two star athletes were named to the 2016 All-NESCAC First Team in both singles and doubles action.
Meltzer became the first Jumbo to win the Senior Sportswoman of the Year award since assistant coach Samantha Gann was recognized with the honor in 2014.
Karamercan, who was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year in 2016, developed into the Jumbos' go-to player on the singles side, taking the reins of the top slot on March 29. The Istanbul, Turkey, native won her first five matches at the top slot during the 2017 season, finishing the spring with a 10-5 record at the No. 1 slot and a 3-1 mark at the No. 2 slot in individual competition.
Karamercan, who qualified for the 2016 NCAA Division III Singles & Doubles Championships, went 9-11 on the doubles side in 2017, operating at the top slot in 19 of 20 matches. She went 1-1 in doubles action at the singles & doubles championships last May, reaching the quarterfinal round, along with Louks.
Louks showcased her clutch gene on Friday, posting a match-clinching performance during No. 2 singles with a three-set win, 6-1, 1-6, 7-5, over sophomore Kelsey Chen in a 5-1 win over Amherst during the first round of the conference tournament.
The Malibu, California, native posted a combined record of 23-15 in 2017, going 12-7 in singles and 11-8 on the doubles side, as she operated out of the No. 1 and 2 slots. She came out of the gates flying, going 6-2 in her first eight doubles matches, while posting the same mark in her first eight singles events.
In addition to competing with Karamercan in doubles action last season at the singles & doubles championships, Louks went 1-1 in singles competition, qualifying for the Round of 16. Karamercan and Louks were the first Jumbos to compete in the singles & doubles championships since 2011.
Meltzer, who posted a 12-4 record in singles and a 2-2 showing in doubles, won three singles matches in a row four different times during 2017. She posted a match-clinching win at No. 5 singles with a 6-2, 6-4 win during a 6-3 victory on March 29 against visiting Brandeis, who was ranked No. 18 at the time.
The Jumbos, who have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 16 of the last 17 seasons, will host a six-team regional event on Friday-Sunday. The matches are set to be played at Voute Courts in Medford, Massachusetts, but if indoor play is necessary due to inclement weather, then part of the event will be moved to the Bass River Tennis Club, which is located at 31 Tozer Road in Beverly, Massachusetts.
The Jumbos will compete in second-round action on Saturday at 10 a.m. against the winner of the first-round matchup featuring Ithaca and Nichols.
Written by Trevor Wenners, Athletic Communications Intern
Link: NESCAC Release