IRVING, Texas — Senior captain Felicity Maltby capped off her final Big 12 season as she was named the 2019 Big 12 Player of the Year, league officials announced Wednesday afternoon.
She becomes the second Lady Raider in school history to win the coveted award. The last player to win was Gabriela Talaba in 2017.
“We are all so proud of Felicity. She has come so far over her four years. She deserves all the credit in the world,” Head Coach Todd Petty said. “She has put in a tremendous amount of time and has been an exceptional leader for this program. I am so blessed to have gotten to work with her for the past four years.”
Maltby posted a 19-7 record this season with 17 wins coming in dual match play at the no. 1 position and boasting an 8-1 record in Big 12 action. Maltby earned the highest ranked win of her career when she upset No. 17 Bianca Turati (Texas) to score the only point of the match against the Longhorns.
During Big 12 play, Maltby defeated three straight Top 25 opponents to close out the season and was named Big 12 Player of the Week for her outstanding performance.
Maltby was a unanimous selection for All-Big 12 first team honors. She has been named to an All-Big 12 team in three of her four seasons, the last coming in 2017.
Freshmen Kennedy Bridgforth and Denise-Antonela Stoica were named to the All-Big 12 Freshman team after great rookie seasons. This marked the first time Texas Tech has had two players on the all-freshman team since Maltby and Alex Valenstein were named to the 2016 team.
Stoica posted a 16-7 reocrd in her first year at the collegiate level. She was 11-2 at the No. 4 position and 5-2 in conference play. Stoica clinched nine match points for the Lady Raiders including the final point to defeat Oklahoma in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament.
The Big 12 has reinstated the singles position champions for the first time since 2014. With an 8-1 record at the No. 1 position, Maltby earned the Big 12 Individual Champion title for the No. 1 position. She is the first Lady Raider to earn the title since Zana Zlebnik in 1998 and just the second in school history. Senior Lana Rush was named Individual Co-Champion at the No. 6 position as she posted a 6-2 record in Big 12 play. She is the first Lady Raider since Caroline Starck in 2013 to win the title.
The Lady Raiders are set to face UNLV on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT in Los Angeles, Calif., during the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The two will fight for a spot in the second round and will face the winner between USC and Illinois State.
Visit www.TexasTech.com for the latest news and information on the women’s tennis program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/TechWomensTennis and @TexasTechWTEN on Twitter.
(Courtesy: Texas Tech Sports Communications Department)