DURHAM, N.C. – For the first time in Duke women’s tennis program history, a Blue Devil was named the ACC Women’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year as recent graduate Samantha Harris collected the honor as announced by the league office Monday. Teammates Meible Chi and Kaitlyn McCarthy join Harris on the All-ACC Academic Team as Harris picked up the fourth all-academic recognition of her career while Chi and McCarthy are second and third-time honorees, respectively.
To be considered for the team, a student-athlete must have earned a 3.0 grade point average for the previous two semesters, as well as maintain a 3.0 cumulative average during an individual's academic career.
Harris, who was also named the ITA Carolina Region Most Improved Senior as well as the ITA Carolina Region Senior Player of the Year, is the first Blue Devil to win the league’s top academic award. Harris spent the entire dual match season playing on court one, providing a 15-6 record there. The senior from Melbourne, Australia reached 30 wins for the first time in her career, racking up a 30-12 ledger, including 15-9 against ranked opponents. She finished the team season with a win over Stanford’s Michaela Gordon in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
Harris has also had success partnering with Kelly Chen on the doubles court this year. After reaching the semifinals of both the Intercollegiate Tennis Association/Riviera All-American Championships and the ITA Fall National Championships to close out the fall season, the duo became the first Blue Devils to be ranked No. 1 by the ITA since Mallory Cecil topped the singles poll in 2009. The pair finished with a 25-9 record this season, a 9-3 record against ranked pairs and a 15-7 dual match mark.
In her final season at Duke, Harris helped the Blue Devils earn their second-straight ACC regular season title and reach the ACC tournament final for the first time since 2014. She also helped lead Duke back to the NCAA Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2012. During her final fall campaign, she was the runner-up at both the ITA Carolina Regional Championships and at the ITA Fall National Championships.
McCarthy concluded her junior campaign with a 28-11 overall record and went 11-2 in ACC play. The Cary, N.C., native teamed up with Ellyse Hamlin to dominate in doubles competition, finishing the season with a 33-9 record and both were named All-America for the first time in their careers. The tandem won Duke’s third doubles Collegiate Grand Slam title at the Riviera/ITA All-American championships in the fall. The two are just the fourth Duke duo to reach the NCAA Doubles Tournament semifinals. The junior partners went 10-2 in the postseason, which included the ACC Tournament, NCAA Team Tournament and NCAA Doubles Tournament, and went 13-6 against ranked duos.
Chi closed the year with a 35-7 record, the second-highest win total on the team. The product of Weston, Fla., saw most of her success on court two with a 14-4 ledger and picked up nine victories over nationally ranked foes. Chi, who went 1-1 in NCAA Singles Tournament play, capped the year ranked No. 55 in the Oracle/ITA poll and climbed as high as No. 20 at the start of the fall. Chi and freshman Hannah Zhao teamed up in doubles, going 21-6 overall on court three and earned one win versus a nationally ranked pair.
2018 Women’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
Samantha Harris, Sr., Duke (Political Science)
2018 All-ACC Academic Women’s Tennis Team
Asiya Dair***, Sr., Boston College (Economics)
Marie-Alexandre Leduc, Jr., Clemson (Criminal Justice)
Meible Chi**, So., Duke (Evolutionary Anthropology)
Samantha Harris****, Sr., Duke (Political Science)
Kaitlyn McCarthy***, Jr., Duke (Psychology)
Andrea Garcia-Fernandez, So., Florida State (Dietetics)
Petra Hule, Fr., Florida State (Exploratory)
Ariana Rahmanparast, Jr., Florida State (Sport Management)
Carla Touly, So., Florida State (Communication Media Studies)
Ida Jarlskog, Fr., Georgia Tech (Chemistry)
Mariana Mayer Humberg**, Sr., Louisville (Economics)
Raven Neely, So., Louisville (Criminal Justice)
Abigail Pahz, Sr., Louisville (Exercise Science)
Sena Suswam, Jr., Louisville (Marketing)
Ana Madcur, Jr., Miami (Finance)
Sinead Lohan***, Sr., Miami (Economics)
Estela Perez-Somarriba**, So., Miami (Economics)
Chloe Ouellet-Pizer**, Jr., North Carolina (Psychology)
Makenna Jones**, So., North Carolina (Exercise and Sport Science)
Anna Rogers, So., NC State (Business)
Cameron Corse, Fr., Notre Dame (Undeclared)
Allison Miller, Sr., Notre Dame (Neuroscience & Behavior)
Zoe Spence, So., Notre Dame (Political Science)
Callie Frey, Sr., Pitt (Marketing)
Gabriela Knutson**, Jr., Syracuse (Broadcast Journalism)
Miranda Ramirez**, So., Syracuse (Management)
Meghan Kelley, Jr., Virginia (Foreign Affairs)
Katherine Butler, Sr., Virginia Tech (Literature and Language)
Caroline Daxhelet, Sr., Virginia Tech (Human Nutrition Food and Exercise)
Natalie Novotna**, So., Virginia Tech (Biochemistry)
Emma Davis, Jr., Wake Forest (Business & Enterprise Management)
Eliza Omirou, Fr., Wake Forest (Undeclared)
*- denotes number of All-ACC Academic honors