ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia Bulldog women’s tennis freshman Katarina Jokic has been named the 2018 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, headlining six Bulldogs to be tabbed to the All-SEC teams, the league announced Wednesday.
In addition to SEC Freshman of the Year, the eighth-ranked Georgia squad produces the largest contingent of All-SEC honorees in the conference. Jokic earns First Team All-SEC, while senior Mariana Gould, freshman Morgan Coppoc, sophomore Elena Christofi, senior Kennedy Shaffer and sophomore Marta Gonzalez garner second-team status. With Jokic’s distinction, 42 Bulldogs have now been named First-Team All-SEC 91 times.
Jokic’s Freshman of the Year honor marks back-to-back years in which a Georgia player has taken the title – Christofi earned the 2017 accolade. The Novi Grad, Bosnia native is the sixth recipient of the award in program history.
The highest ranked freshman in the nation in singles at No. 12, Jokic has yet to fall below No. 12 in the Oracle/ITA lineup since the start of the season, reaching as high as No. 2. The SEC All-Freshman honoree collected a team-high 30 wins with nine against ranked opponents and an 11-3 record on the first court in dual action. In doubles, Jokic teamed with Gould as the No. 24 doubles pair in the country, providing a team-high nine clinchers among 27 total doubles victories.
Gould earns All-SEC honors for the first time in her career after collecting a team-leading 14-1 (11-1, SEC) singles wins in dual play and 22-4 overall record on the season. In seven dual play matches, Gould was the first Bulldog off the court with a win.
Following 2017 Freshman of the Year and First Team All-SEC accolades, Christofi nabs All-SEC honors for the second-straight year, matching with Coppoc in doubles on court one as the No. 8 team in the country. The only tandem in the conference with a higher ranking than the Coppoc-Christofi duo – Ole Miss’ Arianne Hartono and Alexa Boutles – has been defeated by the Georgia pair twice this year.
In addition to Coppoc’s accolades with Christofi, the freshman closed the SEC Tournament on a nine-match win streak. The freshman from Tulsa, Oklahoma earned All-SEC membership after boasting a perfect 8-0 in conference play this season.
Gonzalez eclipsed the 20-win mark for the first time in her career on her way to All-SEC prestige this season. The native of Madrid, Spain clinched the first two matches in the ITA Kickoff Weekend, sending Georgia to the ITA National Team Indoors.
Senior Kennedy Shaffer caps the Bulldog squad, coming back in the spring for her fourth All-SEC standing. With seven doubles wins alongside freshman Annette Goulak, the Rossford, Ohio native checked in with the most regular-season wins in conference play on court three. Shaffer also picked up eight wins on the second singles court, including four against ranked opponents.
Up next, the Bulldogs await the NCAA selection show, which will be aired via webcast on Tuesday, May 1 at 5 p.m.