AUGUSTA, GA – The Francis Marion University women’s tennis team is the recipient of the 2011 Peach Belt Conference Team Sportsmanship Award, the league office recently announced. The PBC presents one such award for each of its 13 championship sports, and the award is voted on by other teams in that sport.
The Patriot women receive the award for the third consecutive year. The young Francis Marion squad which lists no seniors on its roster finished its 2011 season with an 11-7 record and a No.30 national ranking.
Team members include junior Jitka Gavdunova; sophomores Mona Blauen, Kerry Hall, and Kathryn Vernon; and freshmen Monica Downey, Rachel Gaster, Kimberley Hurter, and Caitlin Siney. FMU graduate Garth Thomson is the team’s long-time head coach, and he is assisted by former Patriot player Valeska Ibscher.
It is the second team sportsmanship award for an FMU squad this year (joining men’s soccer), and the seventh overall in the three years of the awards program.
The program presents an award following each championship season to the team in that sport that best exemplifies the spirit of sportsmanship and generally conducts themselves with a high degree of integrity, character and class.
Points are awarded based on how each school finishes in the different votes and in June, the institution with the highest total will receive the ‘PBC Institution of the Year Sportsmanship Award.’ Francis Marion won the 2008-09 institution award.
The league’s Senior Woman Administrators oversee this program.
Georgia Southwestern State University received the men’s tennis award.