April 16, 2008
Birmingham, Ala. -
Auburn women's tennis stand-out Fani Chifchieva was named Southeastern Conference Women's Tennis Athlete of the Year, the SEC announced Wednesday.
A sophomore from Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Chifchieva becomes the first Auburn women's tennis player to be awarded this honor.
"This is an unbelievable honor for Fani," said Auburn head coach Tim Gray. "She has quite the string of firsts for Auburn and I'm sure more accolades will follow. I am very proud of her."
In 2007 Chifchieva became Auburn's first All-American as well as the first South Region Freshman of the Year.
Additionally, Chifchieva picked up First Team All-SEC honors along with teammate Alex Haney. The nod marks the second year both Tigers have been selected to the all-conference team. Haney was named to the second team in 2007.
"Alex and Fani both set a goal to make the first team this year," Gray said. "They have both worked very hard to achieve that goal and they deserve it. I am thrilled with them both."
Chifchieva's nod comes on a 21-2 singles season. She gave up only one match in conference play in 2008. Chifchieva, who began the season unranked and has climbed to the No. 17 spot, went 10-2 when facing ranked opponents and 3-1 when facing higher seeded opponents.
Haney's selection comes on an 18-5, 8-4 SEC singles season. Haney, who is ranked as the No. 66 singles player, notched five wins over higher ranked opponents in 2008.
Along with doubles partner Melissa Koning, Haney went 13-3, 8-4 SEC. The pair ends the regular season ranked as the No. 15 doubles duo.