Four Dolphins earn all-conference honors in tennis

April 17, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Lina Xu was named the Atlantic Sun Conference "Freshman of the Year" as the JU men's and women's tennis teams had four players earn all-conference honors.

Xu becomes the second Dolphin to be named "Freshman of the Year," as she matches assistant coach Emese Sulyos in earning the honor for JU.

Senior Lena Willi earned first team all-conference honors for the third straight year and has been named to the all-conference teams all four years. Willi also equals Sulyos' record of being named to the all-conference teams for four straight year.

Along with the top freshman honor comes a first team all-conference selection for Xu. Sophomore Tatiana Soldatova was named second team all-conference for the second straight year.

"Lina was quite deserving of the freshman of the year selection and I'm proud of all that she has accomplished this season," said JU head coach Shane Wood. "Lena has been a valuable asset as a leader and our No. 2 all season. Tatiana is also very deserving of her honor after playing so well in conference."

On the men's side, No. 1 Jordi Ballester was named first team all-conference. It marks the second straight year that he has earned first team all-conference honors.

"Jordi is a strong player and is the leader of our squad," Wood said. "He sets the tone for the rest of the guys and they follow his lead. He is very deserving of this honor, which recognizes him as one of the best in the league."