Tarleton can officially say they have the best player in the conference, and she’s only a freshman.
The Western Athletic Conference announced the 2022-23 women’s tennis awards on Wednesday, crowning Texan freshman Emma Persson as the WAC Player of the Year. Persson was also named the WAC Freshman of the Year, plus earned a spot on the Singles All-WAC First Team, along with junior Elsa Boisson.
Persson becomes the fifth player in program history to be named the conference player of the year, and the first since the Texans joined the WAC. Alicia Barbaroux (2018), Alicia Perez (2014), Karla Martinez (2013) and Hall of Famer Alicia Cummings (2006) have also earned the prestigious honor while Tarleton was a member of the Lone Star Conference.
Persson is the first freshman in Tarleton Tennis history to earn Player of the Year honors.
“What a major accomplishment by our program,” head coach Elianne Douglas-Miron said. “Winning Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year is no small feat. Emma has been solid all year long. She brings a level of tennis that we haven’t seen yet at Tarleton. She is incredibly aggressive and wants to win every point. I’m very excited to see her continue to grow and see what other accomplishments we can achieve together.”
Persson has been Tarleton’s primary No. 1 player most of the season, sporting a 14-6 overall singles record, all at the top two positions. She’s 8-5 on Court 1 and 6-1 on Court 2, plus went 5-4 in conference play, all nine matches played at the No. 1 position.
In addition to her two overall season awards she just won, Persson has also won three in-season WAC awards, including two weekly honors in dual match play. She won her first WAC Singles Player of the Week honor after back-to-back clinching road wins at UTSA and Texas State in early February, then won another after going 3-0 against the top players from Drake, UTRGV and UT Arlington. She also was the WAC’s Singles Player of the Month in September, headlined by her Sweet 16 singles main draw run at the ITA Texas Regional Championship with wins against North Texas and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Persson won eight straight singles matches from Jan. 28 through March 3, and out of Tarleton’s 15 wins, she clinched the team victory six times. In doubles play, she went 9-9 this season, winning four of her last five regular season doubles matches.
Boisson joins Persson on the Singles All-WAC First Team, her first time making the First Team after earning a spot on the Singles All-WAC Second Team last year.
“I am so proud of Elsa,” Douglas-Miron said. “She has taken her role of upperclassman seriously and has become a very ‘matter-of-fact’ tennis player. She takes care of business, is incredibly coachable, has been working so hard and her record speaks for itself. This is a very well-deserved honor for a core member of this team.”
Boisson has the best singles record on the team this year at 15-4 and has the tied-most wins. She’s typically played on Court 3, posting a 12-3 mark at the No. 3 position, adding a 1-0 spot on Court 2 and a 2-1 record on Court 4.
In the WAC this year, Boisson went 8-1 in singles. She won her final seven regular season singles matches of the season, and 12 of her last 13. The Texan junior earned two WAC awards during the season, capped off in early April with WAC Singles Player of the Week recognition after she went 2-0 against GCU and New Mexico State in Tarleton’s 4-3 victories over each.
In her three-year Tarleton career, Boisson has posted an overall record of 37-17 (.685).
Tarleton finished 7-2 in conference play and 15-6 overall to earn the No. 2 seed in the WAC Women’s Tennis Tournament, a year after going undefeated in winning the WAC regular season title. Since joining the Western Athletic Conference in 2020-21, Tarleton is 17-3. They’ll begin their first WAC Tournament on Thursday at 9 a.m. CT against Seattle U at the Arlington Tennis Center.
The full list of WAC awards can be found below.
Player of the Year: Emma Persson, Tarleton
Freshman of the Year: Emma Persson, Tarleton
Coach of the Year: Diego Benitez, UT Arlington
Natasha Puehse, GCU
Santa Strombacha, GCU
Elsa Boisson, Tarleton
Anna Pinaieva, NM State
Ana Paula Jimenez, UT Arlington
Emma Persson, Tarleton
Sarina Reinersten, UT Arlington
Madeline Lamoreaux, GCU
Maria Cascos, ACU
Marjorie Souza, UTRGV
Tara Gorinsek, UT Arlington
Lisa Zhu, NM State
Natasha Puehse/Santa Strombacha, GCU
Tara Gorinsek/Ana Paula Jimenez, UT Arlington
Sarina Reinertsen/Liz Chileno, UT Arlington
Anali Kocevar/Madeline Lamoreaux, GCU
Bella Nguyen/Miranda Bishard, NM State
Lea Karren/Barbara Martinez, UTRGV