Arianne Hartono from the University of Mississippi, University of North Carolina’s Makenna Jones, Astra Sharma of Vanderbilt University and Bianca Turati from the University of Texas are the four nominees for the Class of 2018 Honda Sport Award for Tennis as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 42 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2018 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 25, 2018, in downtown Los, Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a combination of NCAA Championship finish and the ITA final national rankings. The Honda Sport Award winner for Tennis will be announced later this week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Hartono, a senior hailing from Meppel, Netherlands, was the 2018 NCAA Singles Champion and the first NCAA singles titlist in Ole Miss history. She was also the first women’s tennis player in program history to be named the SEC Player of the Year after finishing 11-2 in No. 1 singles in SEC play. The ITA Co-Senior Player of the Year, she finished the year winning 17-straight matches, including 23 wins against ranked opponents, and ranked No. 2 in the ITA final standings.
Jones is a sophomore from Greenville, S.C., and was seeded No. 2 in the NCAA Championship singles draw. She finished her season 35-5 overall in singles and is an ITA first-team All-American. The 2018 ACC Championship MVP was the second player in program history to notch a perfect 14-0 mark against the ACC at No. 1 singles. During the season, she posted a 17-match win streak and finished the year ranked No. 4 in the ITA rankings.
Sharma, the 2018 ITA Co-Senior Player of the Year, finished the season ranked No. 1 in the ITA rankings and was named the 2018 NCAA Tournament MVP. A native of Perth, Australia, the rs-senior finished her NCAA singles career at 15-1 and is Vanderbilt’s first five-time All-American combining honors in singles and doubles. A two-time first-team All-SEC honoree, she led her team to five SEC titles and four straight Final Four appearances. This is her second-straight Honda Award nomination.
Turati was the top-seed in the NCAA Championship and named the Big 12 Player of the Year after earning Freshman of the Year last season. The sophomore from Barzano, Italy, was ranked No. 1 in the ITA for three straight months becoming the first Longhorn top-ranked since 1995. She finished the season at 28-4 in singles, including a 16-2 dual-match mark and won 10 straight singles decisions during the season.
Honda Sport Award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sport Award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Honda Cup award presented in June.
The CWSA, celebrating its 42nd year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for their superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs.