By Amie Canfield
TROY – The Liberty League has announced its year-end honors in women’s tennis and four Vassar College student-athletes have been recognized for their efforts in 2021. Multiple honors were garnered for the Brewers in both singles and doubles, highlighted by All-Liberty League First Team recognition for junior Melina Stavropoulos and rookie Sofie Shen. In addition, Shen was tabbed as the 2021 Liberty League Rookie of the Year.
Stavropoulos, who hails from Atherton, Calif., garnered First Team recognition in singles after posting an outstanding 5-1 record in the 2021 campaign. Playing primarily from the second position, she posted a 4-0 mark from number two, went 1-0 at three and was 0-1 at one. In Liberty League play, she boasted a 4-1 record.
A native of New York, N.Y., Shen was the Liberty League Rookie of the Year and a First Team selection after posting a perfect 6-0 record on the season from singles play. A two-time league Rookie of the Week honoree, she was 5-0 in league action as well. Her impressive record included victories over Union, Ithaca and Skidmore – who won the Liberty League Championship.
In earning Rookie of the Year, Shen becomes the fifth player in program history to garner the honor and the first since Kate Christensen won it during the 2015 season.
Named to the All-Liberty League Second Team in singles was sophomore Tatum Blalock. The Austin, Texas native put forth a record of 3-0 on the season, including a 2-0 mark from the top position and 1-0 from two.
Rounding out the honors was junior Cara Kizilbash, a Pensacola, Fla., native who recorded a 5-2 overall mark in singles to be named to the All-League Honorable Mention squad. She went 4-1 in league play and was 4-1 overall from the fourth position in the lineup this year.
In doubles action, Stavropoulos and Blalock were named to the All-League First Team. The duo combined for a perfect 4-0 mark on the season, both overall and in league action. Playing from the top position, the pair were named the Liberty League Doubles Team of the Week on April 19.
The year-end honors rounded out with the doubles pair of Kizilbash and Shen, who garnered All-League Second Team recognition. The duo went 6-1 overall on the season, including a 4-1 league mark. They owned a 5-1 mark from the second position, also going 1-0 from the top flight as well. Kizilbash and Shen were named the league’s top doubles pair of the week on May 3.
Vassar owned a 5-2 overall record during the 2021 season. The Brewers advanced to the Liberty League Tournament, bowing out in the Championship match to Skidmore.