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Popova named ASUN Women's Tennis Freshman of the Year
Thursday, April 19, 2018
By Kirk Downs
Popova named ASUN Women's Tennis Freshman of the Year

LAKEPOINT, Ga. – Kateryna Popova and Viktoriya Dzyuba led a list of seven postseason honors earned by the Lipscomb women’s tennis team when the ASUN Conference unveiled its annual All-Conference selections during a postseason banquet Thursday in Jacksonville, Florida.

The seven accolades – split amongst Popova, Dzyuba and Madeleine Brooks – are two more than the Lady Bisons had ever brought home in a single season in program history.

Popova topped the list by becoming the first player in program history to be named the ASUN’s Freshman of the Year. She also earned First Team All-Conference and All-Freshman honors as a unanimous selection in both. The rookie was additionally named to the All-ASUN Second Team at No. 2 doubles with Brooks.

The Donetsk, Ukraine native was arguably the best player in the conference after putting together a 16-2 season in singles action to lead the league in victories while splitting time between the top two positions (9-2 at No. 1 and 7-0 at No. 2). Including a 6-0 mark against ASUN opponents, Popova ended the season on a 14-match win streak after last falling against Xavier on February 2nd.

Thirteen of the 16 victories went her way in a sweep. In doubles play, she teamed with three different partners and finished the season 9-8, including a 4-1 mark in ASUN play.

Dzyuba became just the second Lady Bison to ever land first team honors in multiple seasons. The defending ASUN Player of the Year got off to a slow start in 2018 after coming off an injury, but still managed to finish second on the team in wins by going 10-7 in singles play overall and 5-1 in conference between the No. 1 and No. 2 slots. Six of her 10 victories were sweeps.

The junior from Ukraine earned 19 total wins this season after going 9-2 in doubles action with two different partners, including a 6-1 stamp with Denise Buberl against ASUN foes.

Dzyuba was also just one of six players voted to the ASUN All-Academic Team while carrying a 3.57 GPA in Finance. She gives the program its fourth all-academic selection in six seasons.

It is the first time in program history that the Lady Bisons have put multiple players on the All-ASUN First Team as Dzyuba and Popova represented two of the three unanimous selections to the top team.

Brooks is bringing home ASUN postseason honors for the first time in her career as the sophomore landed on the All-ASUN Second Team twice - at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles with Popova.

The Norfolk, England native closed the regular season with 17 combined wins between singles and doubles. Splitting time at the No. 3 and No. 4 slots, Brooks went 7-10 in singles, including a 4-2 mark in conference competition.

She led all Bisons with 10 wins in doubles action, posting a 10-10 mark at the top two spots. She was one of four teammates to go 4-1 against league foes.

Her and Popova teamed up to go 6-6 on the year, and are riding a team best 3-match winning streak.

Lipscomb opens ASUN Tournament play on Friday in Jacksonville, Florida as the No. 3 seed – marking the highest seed ever attained by the program. The Bisons will face No. 6 NJIT in the opening round. The Purple and Gold defeated the Highlanders 6-1 last weekend in the regular season finale.