SPARTANBURG, S.C. – UNCG redshirt junior Niltooli Wilkins has been named the Southern Conference Women's Tennis Player of the Week for contests April 9-15, the league office announced Tuesday.
Wilkins went a combined 5-1 in the Spartans' three matches last week, winning all three of her singles contests and going 2-1 in doubles play. With her 19th straight singles win, Wilkins ran her dual mark to 19-1 and her overall record this season to 29-6, matching the school record for wins set by Alejandra Guerra in 2009.
No. 74 UNCG (15-5, 10-0 SoCon) beat league foes Elon and Western Carolina on the week to wrap up an undefeated conference slate and its first outright SoCon regular-season title in school history. The Spartans dropped a 4-3 nonconference match on the road to UNCW.
The Burnsville, Minn., native opened her week with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Elon's Jordan Johnston on April 10 as the Spartans ran their winning streak to 10 matches and clinched at least a share of the SoCon title. She and doubles partner Lucy Dougherty dropped an 8-4 decision to Johnston and Frida Jansaker at No. 1 doubles.
In UNCG's loss at UNCW on Friday, Wilkins picked up one of UNCG's two singles wins on the day, topping the Seahawks' Christina Lee, 6-2, 6-3. She and Dilara Yurtkuran, playing together for the first time, picked up a 9-7 win over Lee and Alyssa Ritchie at No. 1 doubles.
Wilkins and Yurtkuran rolled to an 8-0 win over Western Carolina's Ainhoa Iglesias Diaz and Megan McLinden to clinch the doubles point against the Catamounts on Sunday. Wilkins then wrapped up her week with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Diaz as UNCG completed a perfect 10-0 SoCon campaign and captured its first SoCon title since 1999 and first-ever outright.
The award is the second of its kind for Wilkins this season, as she also took the honor on March 27. Teammate Annette Rios was the SoCon Player of the Week on April 3, giving UNCG three of the last four weekly awards. Wilkins, who is also the two-time defending SoCon Player of the Month, has taken the weekly honor four times in her two-year UNCG career.
UNCG opens SoCon Championship play on Friday at 8:30 a.m. on the campus of The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. The top-seeded Spartans will face the winner of Thursday's 8/9 match between Georgia Southern and Davidson.
SoCon Women's Tennis Player of the Week
Feb. 14 – Paola Garrido, Georgia Southern
Feb. 21 – Samantha Maddox, College of Charleston
Feb. 28 – Kristen Lewis, Samford
March 7 – Kaylene Chadwell, Chattanooga
March 13 – Jordan Johnston, Elon
March 20 – Christin Newman, College of Charleston
March 27 – Niltooli Wilkins, UNCG
April 3 – Annette Rios, UNCG
April 10 – Kaylene Chadwell, Chattanooga
April 17 – Niltooli Wilkins, UNCG
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