MEDFORD – Four members of the Tufts University women's tennis team earned New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Conference honors announced today.
Juniors Mina Karamercan and Otilia Popa were selected first team as a doubles pair, while Karamercan is also on the first team for singles. Freshman Patricia Obeid was voted NESCAC's Rookie of the Year as well as to the second team for singles. Jumbo leader Kate Bayard was named the Coach of the Year.
The NESCAC recognition continues to pile up for Karamercan. She was the league's Rookie of the Year as well as a first team singles selection in 2016. Last year as a sophomore, she was on the first team for singles and the second team for doubles. The conference honors this season are the first for Popa and Obeid.
Karamercan and Popa opened their spring season with a strong 8-4 victory against the Middlebury College pair of Skylar Schossberger and Katy Hughes, who are the #17 ranked pair in Division III by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) and are on the NESCAC second team as a doubles pair. The Tufts tandem then had wins over nationally-ranked doubles teams from Whitman College and third-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps during their spring break trip. In the NESCAC schedule, Tufts' pair posted two wins against Amherst College's All-Conference duo of Avery Wagman and Anya Ivenitsky, who are also the ninth-ranked pair by the ITA. Karamercan and Popa also topped Bowdoin's All-Conference tandem of Tess Trinka and Izzy Essi. Karamercan and Popa won their first 10 matched together this season and are 14-4 overall.
Karamercan played a full singles schedule of 28 matches for 2017-18, with only one unfinished. She recorded a 21-6 record including 14-3 in the spring. Starting the year at #3, she has been at #1 or #2 since the team returned from its spring break trip in March. Her top win in the fall came in the round of 16 at the ITA New England Championships where she defeated Middlebury College's Heather Boehm, who is ranked #22 nationally and is on the All-NESCAC second team. After losing her first spring match, Karamercan won the next 10 including over Claremont-Mudd-Scipps' Lindsay Brown and MIT's Libby Rickeman, both nationally-ranked players. The three-set win over the ninth-ranked Rickeman was revenge for a fall defeat to the MIT player. During NESCAC play, Karamercan posted wins over All-Conference players Camille Smukler from Amherst (#10 nationally) and Vicotria Yu from Wesleyan. She also helped the Jumbos to important victories with wins against Bowdoin's Tasha Christ and Amherst's Vickie Ip late in the season.
As a freshman, Obeid held down the #1 singles spot throughout the spring season including opening the spring with a victory over fourth-ranked Middlebury College's Hughes. She would face seven players ranked in the ITA singles top 20. Her addition to the top of the Tufts line-up strengthened the Jumbos' singles order throughout. Obeid is one of just two freshmen to earn All-Conference in singles play this season.
Bayard was selected as the NESCAC Coach of the Year by her peers for the third time in her 13 years at the helm of the Jumbos. She was also chosen in 2009 and 2011. Bayard's squad has been ranked in the national top 10 all year and is currently at #6. They will be hosting an NCAA Championship Regional for the second year in a row this weekend. Tufts is 12-6 overall and finished 6-3 against the challenging NESCAC schedule.