Freshman Taylor Cranford of the Oglethorpe women's tennis team earned SAA Women's Tennis Player of the Week honors from the league's coaches today, marking the first such honor of her career and the first SAA weekly award a member of the Stormy Petrels women's tennis team has won this season. Cranford had a terrific weekend for the Petrels, going undefeated at No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles in their 5-4 win over Millsaps and 6-3 win over Birmingham-Southern.
She paired with sophomore Shannon Cruz in an 8-3 victory over Millsaps' No. 2 tandem, giving Oglethorpe a 2-1 lead at the time. She fought through cramps in besting her opponent 6-3, 6-4 in singles, giving the Petrels the opportunity for the win. Against Birmingham-Southern, Cranford and Cruz won a tight 8-6 match, giving Oglethorpe a sweep in doubles. She then defeated her opponent 7-5, 6-4 at No. 4, giving Oglethorpe their fourth point and putting them on the brink of winning. She is now 5-1 in conference play at Nos. 3 and 4 singles, and 3-1 at No. 2 doubles.
"This is a great honor for Taylor," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "She has worked incredibly hard all year and has made a huge difference to our team. We clearly would not be where we are without her. She fights incredibly hard every match and has improved greatly throughout the year."
Cranford and the rest of the Petrels will hold the No. 3 seed in this weekend's SAA Tournament in North Little Rock, Arkansas. They'll take on No. 6 seed Berry at 1 p.m. Eastern in Friday's first round matchup. The semifinal round will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. and the championship match Sunday at the same time.