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Erickson, Simpson Earn ITA Southern Region Awards

Erickson, Simpson Earn ITA Southern Region Awards

BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU women’s tennis team had two members honored in the 2024 ITA Southern Region awards released on Wednesday. Freshman Kenna Erickson was named the region’s Rookie of the Year while assistant coach Chris Simpson took home the honors as the top assistant coach in the region.

Erickson, a freshman from Lakeway, Texas, posted a 10-9 singles record and a earned ten doubles wins after joining the program in January. She earned seven wins in doubles playing at the No. 1 spot alongside Anita Sahdiieva, including four against nationally ranked foes. Her five SEC singles wins was tied for the most on the team, and she was one of two players to score a singles and/or doubles points in all six of LSU’s SEC wins this season. The biggest of those five singles wins came in LSU’s 4-1 win over No. 14 South Carolina in March, clinching LSU’s first Top 25 win in three years by winning 6-3, 7-5 at the No. 6 spot.

She became the first LSU Tiger since Eden Richardson in 2018 to earn a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team and was the only freshman in the ITA Southern Region to earn SEC honors.

In his second year at the assistant coach role, Simpson helped guide the Tigers to a 16-11 record in 2024, three more wins than 2023 (13-11) with a roster of nine newcomers and a three-time All-American in Kylie Collins missing the entire season due to an injury. In addition to the program’s first Top 25 win since 2021 when they took down No. 14 South Carolina, 4-1, LSU earned its first NCAA Tournament win since 2021 when they took down No. 34 Baylor by a score of 4-3 in the first round.

Simpson coached two Tigers who earned All-SEC honors; Teixidó Garcia earned a spot on the second team while Kenna Erickson became LSU’s first freshman on the SEC All-Freshman team since 2018. The Tigers finished with a final team ranking of No. 28 in the ITA team rankings and No. 2 in the ITA Southern Region’s final team rankings.

A full list of winners across every region can be found on the ITA’s website.

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