UTC’s Samantha Caswell Named SoCon Freshman Tennis Player of the Year

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UTC women’s tennis student-athlete Samantha Caswell was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, the league office announced today.  She teamed with junior Kayla Jones to earn second team All-SoCon doubles honors, while Jones made the league’s first team in singles. 

Postseason balloting was conducted by the league’s head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.

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Caswell helped the Mocs to a 17-3 regular season record, playing No. 4 singles and No. 1 doubles.  UTC finished second in the SoCon race with a 5-1 mark, its best showing in conference action since 2002. 

A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Caswell was 15-5 in spring singles, 22-7 overall.  She was 5-1 in SoCon matches and 8-2 in her last 10 outings.

“I am very proud of Samantha for her Southern Conference honor,” stated head coach Jeff Clark.  “She was clearly the best freshman in the league and will be one of top players in years to come.”

Caswell teamed with junior Kayla Jones in the top spot for the Mocs.  They were 16-3 as a pair in the spring and 19-4 overall.  Two of their three losses came against ranked opponents, while the third was in a tiebreaker. 

Caswell is the fifth in school history to win SoCon Freshman of the Year honors. She joins Karolina Glowacka (1997), Cynthia Oulevay (2001), Jenna Nurik (2010) and teammate Kaylene Chadwell (2012).

Jones earned All-SoCon recognition in singles play for the second year in a row.  She was 13-6 at No. 1, 5-1 in SoCon matches.    

“Kayla showed once again that she is one of the top players in the Southern Conference,” added Clark.  “She has been a leader on our team, based on her performance and hard work on and off the court.  I am proud of her success in the top singles and doubles positions.”

Chattanooga is off to Greenville, S.C. and the Southern Conference tournament hosted by Furman this weekend.  UTC is the No. 2 seed and takes on Western Carolina on Friday, April 26, at 1:00 p.m.  (E.D.T.).  Be sure to check the women’s tennis schedule page on GoMocs.com for a link to live scoring.

The Mocs defeated WCU 7-0 earlier in the season.  Chattanooga is looking for its first SoCon title since 1997. 

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.