The Oglethorpe women's tennis team placed three members on All-SAA teams this week, as voted by the league's coaches. Junior Caroline Johnson earned her second career All-SAA First Team nod and her third career All-SAA honor of any type. Sophomore Shannon Cruz and freshman Taylor Cranford both earned All-SAA Honorable Mention, marking the first career All-SAA accolade for each of them.
Johnson garnered her third consecutive All-SAA honor after taking All-SAA First Team recognition after her freshman year of 2015, and All-SAA Second Team accolades in 2016. This season, she went 7-10 in singles while playing the entire campaign out of the No. 1 position. She had a very good run in SAA play, suffering split-set losses to Carlee Petro of Birmingham-Southern, the SAA Player of the Year, and Clementina Davila of Sewanee, a fellow All-SAA First Team honoree. She also went 9-9 playing almost entirely out of the No. 1 doubles slot, mostly with sophomore Hannah Dattilo. She and Dattilo finished as the 13th-ranked doubles pairing in the Atlantic South region.
"I was very excited and proud to see that Caroline Johnson made All-SAA First Team," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "She clearly played the conference's best players extremely well. This is on the heels of her previous first-and-second-team selections. I'm so glad to have her back for another year!"
Cruz and Cranford both earned All-SAA Honorable Mention for the first time in their respective careers. Cruz went 12-5 overall in singles play, including a 3-3 mark in SAA play and a 12-3 mark in the regular season. She went 8-2 out of the No. 3 position on the season. She also went 12-7 overall in doubles play on the season, including a 4-3 mark in SAA play.
Cranford finished the season 10-3 in singles play, including an impressive 5-1 mark within the SAA. She earned two hugely important victories against Millsaps and Birmingham-Southern in the season's final weekend, helping Oglethorpe to their third-place conference finish. In doubles play, Cranford went 11-6 overall and 4-3 in SAA matches.
"Cruz was the rock of our lineup," said Howell. "She could always be counted on to solidify the middle of our lineup with an .800 winning percentage during the regular season. Cranford won some clutch matches, including SAA matches, and I'm delighted to see her being recognized by the coaches for her contribution to our team success. Fortunately, both are underclassmen and have more great years ahead."
All three players served as essential parts of a squad that finished a program-high third in the SAA with a 5-2 mark in conference play. The team finished 13-6 overall, advanced to the SAA semifinals for the first time ever, and finished 14th in the Atlantic South regional rankings.