PBC Releases Women’s Tennis All-Conference Team

2018 PBC Player of the Year Beatriz Lopez
2018 PBC Player of the Year Beatriz Lopez

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Peach Belt Conference released the 2018 women's tennis All-Conference team at the annual awards banquet in Florence on Friday.  Columbus State swept all three major awards with Player of the Year Beatriz Lopez, Freshman of the Year Candica Paya and Coach of the Year Evan Isaacs. It is the first time the Cougars have taken all three honors in the same season.

Lopez becomes the fourth women's tennis player in PBC history to be named both the Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year in her career.  A sophomore from Murcia, Spain, she is 14-3 overall in singles for the fourth-ranked Cougars.  Sixteen of those 17 matches were at #1 singles where she was 13-3 with a 6-0 record against conference opponents and 4-3 mark against nationally-ranked competition. Ranked #7 in the nation in singles in the April 18 ITA poll, Lopez is also 18-3 in overall doubles.  She is the second Cougar to be named the PBC Player of the Year, joining Paola Cigui, who won in 2012 and 2013.

Candice Paya made an immediate impact on CSU tennis, starting in the fall where she reached the semifinals of the ITA regionals.  From Villepreux, France, she went 16-1 in doubles this spring, splitting time at the #3 and #4 spots.  Ranked #62 in the nation in singles, she was 7-0 against PBC opponents and 12-5 overall in doubles.  She and doubles partner Natalia Kattah Paz are ranked #29 in the nation as a team and have a win over the then-#4 doubles team in the nation from West Florida. Paya is the second straight Cougar to be named the Freshman of the Year and fourth overall.

In his 17thseason as the head coach at Columbus State, Evan Isaacs is in the process of building a dynasty.  The 2018 Cougars won their second consecutive PBC regular-season championship and will vie for their second straight tournament title this weekend.   The Cougars went unbeaten in PBC play for the second year in a row and have been ranked in the top five nationally in the last four ITA polls.  Isaacs earns his second straight PBC Coach of the Year honor for women's tennis and also won the honor in men's tennis for the second straight year.

The 2018 All-Conference team is listed below as selected by the league's head coaches.  Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.  Second-team singles and doubles was expanded due to ties in the voting.

2018 PBC Women's Tennis
All-Conference Team

First Team

Noa Davico, Columbus State
Lizanne Jinkertz, Flagler
Jena Kelly, Georgia College
Marie Krueger, Francis Marion
Beatriz Lopez, Columbus State
Giorgia Vitale, Columbus State 

Holly Bennett and Felicia Baratta, North Georgia
Natalia Kattah Paz and Candice Paya, Columbus State
Beatriz Lopez and Noa Davico, Columbus State

Second Team

Felicia Baratta, North Georgia
Adreinne Bofinger, North Georgia
Eduarda Ferreira, Lander
Candice Paya, Columbus State
Emilia Richter, Georgia College
Felicitas Runkel, Flagler
Olivera Veskovac, USC Aiken 

Lizanne Jinkertz and Camila Ramazzini, Flagler
Jena Kelly and Valeria Lopez, Georgia College
Olivera Veskovac and Teresa Dias, USC Aiken
Georgia Vitale and Marleen Tilgner, Columbus State

Freshman of the Year

Candice Paya, Columbus State

Player of the Year

Beatriz Lopez, Columbus State

Coach of the Year

Evan Isaacs, Columbus State

First-Team All-Conference Singles
First-Team All-Conference Doubles
Second-Team All-Conference Singles
Second-Team All-Conference Doubles
(L to R): PBC Freshman of the Year Candica Paya, Coach of the Year Evan Isaacs and Player of the Year Beatriz Lopez