April 16, 2014

Patriot women’s trio gains All-PBC tennis honors

Three members of the Francis Marion University women's tennis team were recognized at the Peach Belt Conference 2014 Awards Banquet, held Wednesday night (April 16) in conjunction with the PBC Championship Tournament in Florence.

Freshman Samantha Koelliker was named to the first-team All-PBC singles squad, while junior Julia Graf and sophomore Nora Westbye gained second-team All-PBC recognition for their doubles play.

Koelliker, a native of Vielbringen, Switzerland, has compiled a 16-2 singles mark at the No.2 and later the No.1 spots, and is ranked ninth regionally in singles play.  She is 11-2 against PBC competition, and both losses were to opponents ranked second and third nationally in NCAA Division II.  She has won nine of her last 10 matches and has been victorious in 32 of the 34 sets she has played this year.

This is the seventh consecutive year that a Patriot women's player has garnered first-team All-PBC singles accolades.

Graf and Westbye have combined to post a 14-4 doubles record at the No.1 position and are ranked 16th among all Division II duos.  They were 11-2 during the Peach Belt regular season.

Graf hails from Aerzen, Germany, and Westbye from Lillestrom, Norway.  This is the first year they have played together, and last fall they reached the title match (Doubles A Flight) of the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Tournament

Graf also garnered first-team doubles honors in 2013.

The 41st-ranked Francis Marion women are 13-5 and enter this week's PBC Tournament as the fourth seed.  FMU will face 26th-ranked and fifth-seeded Georgia College on Thursday at 9 a.m. in the tournament quarterfinal round.

                                    Westbye and Graf are on far left