Aggies Garner Big 12 Academic Honors

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COLLEGE STATION -- Four members of the Texas A&M women’s tennis team have been named to the Academic All-Big 12 Tennis Team, the conference office announced Tuesday.

Highlighting the list are Nicki Mechem (Fredericksburg, Texas) and Anna Lubinsky (Richardson, Texas), both members of the academic first team who also received special recognition for achieving a 4.0 grade-point average in both the 2006 spring and fall semesters.

Tiffany Clifford (Little Rock, Ark.) and Sarah Foster (Lexington, Ky.) represent A&M on the second team.

Mechem, a graduate student majoring in foreign policy, is making her third appearance on the first team team. A&M’s all-time career leader in both singles and doubles victories, Mechem is 22-11 overall in singles this season and is the 2007 Big 12 No. 5 singles champion with a 9-2 conference record.

In addition, Mechem and Lubinsky, ranked No. 45 in the national doubles rankings with a 19-3 dual match record, teamed to win their second consecutive Big 12 No. 2 doubles title, posting a 10-1 mark in league matches.

Lubinsky, who also is making her third appearance on the academic first team, is No. 24 in the national singles rankings. A senior finance major, Lubinsky went 9-2 at the No. 1 line in Big 12 matches to capture the Big 12 No. 1 singles champion title. She is 24-9 overall and ranks second in the A&M records with a 108-44 career singles record and a 104-41 record in doubles.

Clifford, a junior communication major, is making her second consecutive appearance on the academic second team. Clifford tied for the Big 12 No. 6 singles title, and she and Foster paired to win the No. 1 doubles champion title with a 10-1 conference record. Clifford and Foster are the highest ranked doubles team in the Big 12 with a No. 34 ranking.

In her first year to be eligible for the academic team, Foster received second-team honors. In addition to her doubles success with Clifford, the former University of Kentucky transfer and 2006 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year is 23-8 overall in singles this season, including an 8-2 record in Big 12 matches.

The Academic All-Big 12 Women’s Tennis Team is comprised of 32-first team members and 12 student athletes on the second team.

To be eligible for the academic team, members must maintain a 3.2 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters to be named to the first team and 3.00 to 3.19 GPA to qualify for the second team. In addition, they must have participated in 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests or be in their last year of eligibility. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence.

A&M (19-5, 9-2 Big 12) returns to action Friday as the No. 3 seed at the Big 12 Women’s Tennis Championship. The Aggies face the winner between the No. 6 seed – still to be determined – and No. 11 seed Kansas Friday at 6 p.m. at the Plaza Tennis Center in Kansas City, Mo.