The Western Athletic Conference announced the 2021-22 women’s tennis awards on Wednesday, with several Texans earning recognition in their historic season.
Head coach Elianne Douglas-Miron has been named the WAC Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year. Martha Makantasi, Deniza Marcinkevica and Celia Vaudiau were all named to the Singles All-WAC First Team, and Elsa Boisson earned Singles All-WAC Second Team honors. Makantasi and Marcinkevica also were named to the Doubles All-WAC First Team.
Douglas-Miron becomes the first head coach across Tarleton athletics to win the WAC Coach of the Year award, fresh off of leading the women’s tennis team to Tarleton athletics’ first WAC title. In her third season at the helm of the Texans, Douglas-Miron led Tarleton to an 18-4 overall record, 5-0 in WAC play, 10-0 against WAC teams altogether. Tarleton won the WAC Southwest Division title, winning their most matches in a single-season since 2005-06.
In just their second season at the NCAA Division I level, Tarleton went 16-4 against fellow D1 opponents this year. The Texans had two 6+ match winning streaks, ending the year on a seven-match run, their longest winning streak in eight years. Tarleton went undefeated in the conference for the first time in at least the past 15 years, while claiming their first winning record on the road since 2017-18 (5-3 – Tarleton went 5-0 in the other matches played away from Stephenville at neutral site locations). They were 8-1 at home at the Potishman-Lard Tennis Courts.
Of the eight women Douglas-Miron played at singles, six were .500 or better, five at a .600+ winning percentage. The Texans’ combined singles record was 80-41 (.661). In doubles, the Texans were a combined 40-16 (.714) in matches, and won the doubles point in every single one of their last 10 matches. Seven of the eight Texans who played competitive doubles in 2021-22 had winning records.
Under Douglas-Miron this season, the Texans won 12 WAC weekly awards, winning at least one in eight of the 14 weeks that awards were distributed. Four times Tarleton swept the awards. The Texans had six Singles Athlete of the Week awards and six Doubles Team of the Week honors. Of Tarleton’s eight-woman roster, six received at least one WAC weekly award, four different athletes in singles, six different athletes in doubles, and four earning both.
And now, four Texans have earned yearly awards in 2021-22.
Makantasi, Marcinkevica and Vaudiau were three of the six-woman group making up Singles All-WAC First Team. Boisson was one of six women on the Singles All-WAC Second Team, so of the 12 to earn singles awards across the 11 women’s tennis programs in the WAC, Tarleton took four of those spots. Makantasi and Marcinkevica are one of three pairs named Doubles All-WAC First Team. There were also three duos on the Doubles All-WAC Second Team.
Makantasi, a sophomore, has now been named to the Singles All-WAC First Team, Singles All-WAC Second Team, Doubles All-WAC First Team and Doubles All-WAC Second Team in her first two years at Tarleton. This season, she went 17-4 in singles (1-0 at No. 1, 2-0 at No. 2, 14-4 at No. 3) and 15-5 in doubles (7-1 at No. 1, 1-2 at No. 2, 7-2 at No. 3). Combining her singles and doubles records, she went 32-9 (.780) this year. Makantasi had a season-long six-match winning streak, the last four in dominating fashion, where she outscored her opponents in games 48-3, sweeping three opponents 6-0, 6-0. She won her last five singles matches of the year and finished 4-1 in conference play. She was the WAC Singles Athlete of the Week twice.
Makantasi went 7-1 in doubles with Marcinkevica to end the year, named to the WAC Doubles Team of the Week three times, twice with Marcinkevica. The pair was a perfect 4-0 in conference play since becoming the top duo on March 5. Marcinkevica held a 14-3 doubles record herself, all at the No. 1 position, 7-1 with Makantasi and 7-2 with Jemi Aguilar. Marcinkevica was part of the WAC Doubles Team of the Week four times, twice with Makantasi and twice with Aguilar. This is Marcinkevica’s second time earning a conference doubles yearly award, as she was also named a 2021 All-Mountain West Doubles Team honoree.
Marcinkevica, a junior in her first year at Tarleton, also won a WAC Singles Athlete of the Week award. She was 12-6 this year in singles, all at the top flight, 4-1 in conference play. She had a season-long four-match winning streak in March, finishing with a combined 26-9 (.743) record between singles and doubles. She closed the year with Tarleton’s best and most exciting match of the year, a 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (10-8) win over Abilene Christian’s Maryjoe Crisologo to clinch the team match and send Tarleton to a perfect conference slate.
Vaudiau has now been on the All-WAC First Team in back-to-back years. The Texan junior had the most singles wins in the conference by a wide margin, going 20-1 (1-0 at No. 3, 2-0 at No. 4, 17-1 at No. 5), finishing with 20 straight match wins. Her only loss came in College Station against the No. 6 team in the nation, Texas A&M. Besides teammates, the next closest WAC player in singles wins had 12 (Stephen F. Austin’s Paula Cerda and New Mexico State’s Lisa Zhu). Among the top 125 players in the ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings, only Texas’ Sabina Zeynalova had fewer losses than Vaudiau. Vaudiau’s 20-match winning streak was the longest run in the WAC this year. Of her 20 wins, 14 matches were in straight sets. Vaudiau was a WAC weekly award winner three times, WAC Singles Athlete of the Week twice and part of the WAC Doubles Team of the Week once with Faustine Palatte.
Boisson, a sophomore, went 13-8 (1-0 at No. 2, 1-0 at No. 3, 11-8 at No. 4) in singles. She had a season-long six-match winning streak, including a nine-wins-in-10-matches run. She went 2-3 in conference play with wins against SFA and UTRGV. Combined with her 15-6 doubles record, Boisson was a combined 28-14 (.667) this season.
The full list of WAC awards can be found below.
Player of the Year: Natasha Puehse, Grand Canyon
Freshman of the Year: Megan Basson, Sam Houston
Coach of the Year: Elianne Douglas-Miron, Tarleton
Megan Basson, Sam Houston
Martha Makantasi, Tarleton
Deniza Marcinkevica, Tarleton
Natasha Puehse, Grand Canyon
Santa Strombacha, Grand Canyon
Celia Vaudiau, Tarleton
Elsa Boisson, Tarleton
Paula Cerda, Stephen F. Austin
Anna Kouchnareva, Stephen F. Austin
Fabienne Schmidt, Grand Canyon
Martha Souza, UTRGV
Damera Sunskrithi, Sam Houston
Chloe Gavino/Lisa Zhu, NM State
Martha Makantasi/Deniza Marcinkevica, Tarleton
Natasha Puehse/Santa Strombacha, Grand Canyon
Liliya Dimova/Elenda Kraleva, Seattle U
Autumn Prudhomme/Fabienne Schmidt, Grand Canyon
Majorie Souza/Barbara Martinez, UTRGV