COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M’s Tiffany Clifford was honored with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southwest Regional Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship, the ITA recently announced.
The award goes to a player who has exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership, as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements. Clifford, a senior from Little Rock, Ark., and the seven other regional winners are now finalists for the national award, to be announced May 20.
“It is a fitting award for Tiffany,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “All four years she has been here, she has shown great sportsmanship and leadership. I’m glad she got an opportunity to win the award for the region and has a shot for the national award.
“The award exemplifies everything Arthur Ashe was in tennis, and sportsmanship came first. Tiffany has always been one who has shown a lot of sportsmanship. If scores were wrong, she would correct them even if it was to her disadvantage. Arthur Ashe also was a great leader, and that is another area where Tiffany has excelled, as well as in the areas of community service and giving back to the community. I have watched her mature over the years, and it is a prestigious honor for her to end her career with.”
Clifford participated in two NCAA Doubles Championships during her career and was a three-time member of the All-Big 12 Team for doubles. Also a three-time member of the Academic All-Big 12 second team, Clifford won two Big 12 singles titles and one Big 12 doubles title during her four-year career.
Clifford went 20-16 overall in singles and 22-17 in doubles this season as the Aggies went 17-9 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships before being eliminated by No. 4 Stanford. Clifford completed her career tied for fourth in the A&M career records for doubles victories (93) and ranked 11th in singles victories (81).
In other Aggie tennis news, freshmen Stephanie Davidson (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas) and Christi Liles (Largo, Fla.) were named co-winners of the team’s P.D. Gandy Award. Named in memory of the former president of the Bryan/College Station Tennis Station and one of the all-time great supporters of A&M women’s tennis, the award is presented to the player who accumulates the most singles and doubles victories over the course of the fall and spring seasons. Davidson and Liles tied for the honor with 53 wins apiece.
Davidson went 21-9 in singles and ranked fifth in the A&M season records for most doubles victories with a 32-6 record, including an 11-0 record in Big 12 Conference matches with partner Morgan Frank (Oldsmar, Fla.).
Liles tied for eighth in the A&M all-time season records for most wins with a 29-8 singles record, including a 10-3 mark at the No. 2 line. She was 24-14 in doubles.