FLORENCE, S.C. – Three Francis Marion University tennis players were recently named to the 2009 Peach Belt Conference Tennis All-Academic Teams.
Seniors Bastian Czwalinna and Matthew Keth were selected to the men’s squad, while junior Valeska Ibscher was honored on the women’s side.
The teams are part of a new season-long program recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of PBC student-athletes in the classroom as well as on the field. To be eligible for an All-Academic team, a student-athlete must participate in at least half of his/her team’s events and be either a starter or significant contributor; have achieved a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), and completed at least one full academic year at his/her current institution.
Bastian, a native of Erlangen, Germany, owns a 3.90 grade point average as a general business major. He is a member Chi Alpha Sigma national college athlete honor society and he earned a Division II ADA Academic Achievement Award for 2007-08. He has been twice been named to the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll and once to the Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll.
This past spring, he compiled a 7-5 singles record, playing at positions 3-6. He won the only doubles match he played in 2009.
Keth, a native of Border, South Africa, is majoring in finance and has a 3.50 GPA. A four-year letterman on the Patriot squad, he is also a member of Chi Alpha Sigma and has served on FMU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He has been named to the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll four times and to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll three times.
On the court this past spring, he recorded an 11-10 doubles mark, while winning the only singles match he played.
Keth received a B.B.A. degree at FMU’s recent spring commencement exercises, graduating Cum Laude.
Czwalinna and Keth helped lead Francis Marion to a 16-6 record, a Top 20 national ranking, and an invitation to the NCAA Division II Tournament, the team’s 13th bid over the past 15 seasons.
Ibscher, a native of Feucht, Germany, has a 3.40 GPA as a marketing major.
She also served on the SAAC, is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, and has been honored by the FMU Swamp Fox and PBC honors rolls.
Playing at the No.4 singles position, she posted a 20-4 mark this past spring, including a 9-1 record in conference matches. In doubles competition, she had a 20-5 record, including a perfect 8-0 mark at the No.1 spot.
She helped the Patriot women to a 20-5 record, a Top 5 national ranking, the NCAA Southeast Regional title, and the team’s second consecutive appearance in the Division II national championships, this year in Altamonte Springs, Fla. The FMU squad also received the Peach Belt’s Team Sportsmanship Award for women’s tennis.