LAWRENCEVILLE– The 2020-21 season featured individual and team NAIA national championships for Georgia Gwinnett College junior women’s tennis player Maria Genovese.
Now, the Lewisville, Texas, native has reaped a top honor off the court, earning the Academic All-American of the Year award for NAIA Women’s At-Large student-athletes as announced by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Genovese was the top vote-getter in the category among sports information directors from throughout the country for her academic work and athletic accomplishments so far during her collegiate career.
Student-athletes needed to achieve a 3.3 or higher cumulative grade point average, attend their current institution for a full calendar year, and be selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team. The At-Large category consists of student-athletes competing in NAIA championship sports for beach volleyball, bowling, competitive cheer and dance, golf, lacrosse, swimming and diving, tennis, and wrestling.
Genovese is the first women’s tennis player in program history to earn the Academic All-American of the Year honor. She becomes the second GGC student-athlete to receive the award in a category for the 2020-21 school year. Hunter Dollander was named the Academic All-American of the Year among NAIA baseball players.
GGC’s Office of Athletics has produced 25 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and three Academic All-Americans of the Year in the department’s nine years of existence.
Genovese, an English major, is the NAIA’s top-ranked singles player after winning the singles national championship at the ITA Cup last fall. She was a first NAIA All-America team selection in 2021 and was a 2021 All-American in singles and doubles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Genovese posted a 15-1 singles record on the No. 1 court and was 16-4 in doubles during the 2021 spring season. She culminated the season with a straight-set singles victory to help GGC defeat Keiser University (Florida) to capture the 2021 NAIA national championship. She has 24-2 singles and 24-5 doubles records in her two seasons and has contributed to the Grizzlies having undefeated seasons in 2021 and 2020.
Georgia Gwinnett College captured its fifth national title this spring with a 23-0 match record.