Shkundina Starts Career with Weekly Honor
Vera Shkundina won both singles matches to open her freshman campaign. <I>Image courtesy of Kennesaw State athletics.</I>
Vera Shkundina won both singles matches to open her freshman campaign. Image courtesy of Kennesaw State athletics.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

MACON, Ga. - Kennesaw State freshman Vera Shkundina opened the spring season with four victories, helping the Owls to an opening weekend split against Savannah State and Georgia Southern. The Ufa, Russia native earned the first Player of the Week Award of her young career Wednesday afternoon, the conference office announced. It is the first weekly award for Kennesaw State tennis in school history.

The 16-year-old won all four of her matches in the Owls season-opening weekend, including a pair of wins at No. 1 singles. The Russian did not lose a game in either her singles or doubles match against Savannah State, and beat Kristi Kegerreis, a junior and Georgia Southern's top player, in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. The freshman teamed with fellow Russian Alena Sergeychik for the Owls lone doubles win against the Eagles at the No. 3 position. Her start to the spring season is the continuation of an outstanding fall campaign in which she won the Steve Baras Fall Classic A2 draw without losing a set.

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.

Other Top Performers:

Anna Novo, USC Upstate (Caracas, Venezuela – Sr. – Information Management) – The 2008 A-Sun Player of the Year started out the 2009 dual-meet season much as she ended 2008, by rewriting the Upstate record book ... Having set the school's all-time singles wins mark in the fall, she tied the school's career combined wins (singles and doubles) mark of 137 victories on Monday in a 5-2 win against Presbyterian.

Kara Jackson, Lipscomb (Dayton, Ohio – So. – Elementary Education) – Jackson was the No. 1 spot in doubles, where she and Danielle Hansen defeated Johnson & Jelks of Alabama A&M 8-1. Jackson also played the No. 2 spot in singles, where she defeated Nixon 6-2, 6-2.