2017 NAC Women's Tennis All-Conference Announced: Miller, Woodside & Yang Earn Top Honors

Colby-Sawyer senior Ashley Woodside (Hampden, Maine) has been selected as the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women's Tennis Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season, while Charger teammates Yashu Yang (Kunming City, China) and Evelyn Miller (Smithfield, R.I.) were named Rookie of the Year and Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year. Castleton head coach Rob Purdy was voted Coach of the Year and eight women's tennis student-athletes were selected to the NAC Sportsmanship Team to headline the 2017 All-Conference announcement.

NAC All-Conference selections are determined by a vote of the conference coaches. 

Woodside joins Ashlyn Ramsay '16 and Elizabeth Lincoln '14 as two-time NAC Player of the Year award recipients from Colby-Sawyer. The senior standout was a three-time NAC Player of the Week this season after leading the Chargers to their sixth-straight perfect conference season. The 2014 Rookie of the Year has been a First Team Singles and First Team Doubles honoree all four seasons of her collegiate career. She went a perfect 9-0 in singles matches this fall and completed her fourth-straight perfect conference slate with a mark of 6-0. Woodside concludes conference play with a 20-0 career record. On the doubles side, Woodside is 10-1 with a perfect 8-0 record in dual matches, a 5-0 mark in conference matches and 2-1 record in tournament play. She picked up signature wins against Division I Holy Cross and Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) favorite Nichols to reach the finals of the Grass Court Doubles Tournament, held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, before falling to Division II Assumption. Earlier in the season, Woodside and doubles partner Yashu Yang earned an impressive 8-1 win over Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) favorite Johnson & Wales, a duo that is currently 7-2. Woodside moved into sole possession of second place on Colby-Sawyer all-time wins list with 108. She also ranks fourth in career singles wins (50) and tied for third in career doubles wins (58).


Yang has been an impeccable addition to the Charger lineup this season. She earned all five NAC Rookie of the Week honors this season. The freshman went 8-0 overall in singles action at the second flight with a perfect 5-0 mark against conference opponents. She recorded the match-clinching point in three sets against Nichols, which is currently 10-1 on the season. Yang's other seven wins have come in straight sets, including a victory over Johnson & Wales' No. 2 to give the Wildcats their only loss of the season (8-1). Yang has played at the top doubles flight all season with NAC Player of the Year Woodside to combine for a 9-1 record overall and a 4-0 record in conference. The tandem picked up signature wins against Division I Holy Cross and Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) favorite Nichols to reach the finals of the Grass Court Doubles Tournament, held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, before falling to Division II Assumption for their only loss of the season. Earlier in the fall, Yang and Woodside earned an impressive 8-1 win over a duo from Johnson & Wales which was voted the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) favorite.


Miller, a Biology major, who has served as a role model in both the classroom and on the court, is being acknowledged for her commitment to tennis and her studies. She is a Wesson Honors Scholar and has done research for NH-INBRE and for her capstone with the Huang Laboratory, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. The senior also took second place at the 2017 Colby-Sawyer International Festival talent show. At the end of last season, she earned NAC All-Academic and ITA Scholar-Athlete honors. Earlier this summer, Miller was also named USTA Rhode Island's College Female Player of the Year. On the court, Miller is unbeaten in singles action this season with a 7-0 record. She has compiled a 5-0 mark at No. 3, 1-0 at No. 2 and 1-0 at No. 1. The senior has signature wins over players from Nichols and Johnson & Wales lifting the Chargers to a pair of victories in those matches and handing each team their only loss of the season thus far. Miller has also compiled a 9-2 doubles record thus far. She is 7-1 in dual matches and 2-1 in tournaments. The senior went 5-0 in conference action with junior teammate Aislinn O'Connor. The duo reached the Flight B Finals at the Grass Court Doubles Tournament with wins over Salve Regina and Division I Holy Cross before falling to Division II Assumption. The pair also has a signature win over the No. 2 team from Johnson & Wales, serving them their only loss of the season. Miller has climbed the all-time ranks in just three years with the Chargers, ranking 10th in career wins with 85 and ninth in career doubles wins with 47.


Purdy has earned his third Coach of the Year award this season after claiming the honor in 2010 and 2011. The eight-year Spartan mentor directed his squad to a 9-4 overall record, including a 6-1 mark in conference play to earn the No. 2 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. This season, his team has already recorded two more wins than all of last year. He coached Michelle Podnecky to three-consecutive Player of the Year honors. His resume includes 11 First Team All-Conference honorees in singles and five First Team All-Conference selections in doubles. In addition, heading into this year, he has had five Academic All-Conference selections. Purdy is closing in on his fifth 10-win season and has recorded his fifth winning season in his Castleton coaching career, while his career record heading into the tournament sits at 78-45.


Joining Woodside, Yang and Miller on the first team singles All-Conference squad were Castleton senior Ciara Bannister (St. Albans, Vt.) and sophomore Megan Nadler (Rutland, Vt.) and MCLA senior Mariza Sfakianaki (Williamstown, Mass.).

First team doubles selections include the Castleton team of Bannister and junior Kirsten Kruk (Clifton Park, N.Y.), the Colby-Sawyer pair of Woodside and Yang, and the Husson duo of junior Charlotte Bednarz (Westport, Mass.) and graduate Sarah Smith (Calais, Maine).

Second team singles honorees include Castleton's Kruk, Colby-Sawyer senior Lauren Blanchard (Agawam, Mass.) and junior Aislinn O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.), Husson junior Meridith Blessard (Lincoln, Maine) and Smith, and Thomas senior Olivia Mora (Surry, Maine).

Second team doubles choices include Castleton sophomore partners Alexis Curley (Greenwich, N.Y.) and Emily Miller (Collinsville, Conn.), the Colby-Sawyer tandem of Miller and O'Connor, MCLA's duo of junior Sam Gawron (South Hadley, Mass.) and Sfakianaki and the Thomas pair of junior Irune Arruti Moreno (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain) and Mora.

The NAC Women's Tennis Sportsmanship Team is reserved for those who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The honorees are individuals who have positively affected the women's tennis culture and match environment and whose behavior clearly demonstrates sportsmanship and integrity that go beyond the tennis playing rules and etiquette. The following eight individuals have been selected to the 2017 Sportsmanship Team, Castleton's Nadler, Colby-Sawyer's Miller, Green Mountain senior Paige Vlahos (Little Silver, N.J.), Husson senior Emma Fontaine (Manchester, N.H.), Johnson senior Ashley Fogg (White River Junction, Vt.), Lyndon senior Nichole Jones (Lisbon Falls, Maine), MCLA senior Katherine Grill (East Greenbush, N.Y.), and Thomas freshman Lexi Raymond (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine).

2017 NAC Women's Tennis All-Conference Teams

To view a PDF list of the All-Conference team click HERE

First Team Singles
Ciara Bannister, Senior, Castleton
Evelyn Miller, Senior, Colby-Sawyer
Megan Nadler, Sophomore, Castleton
Mariza Sfakianaki, Senior, MCLA
Ashley Woodside, Senior, Colby-Sawyer
Yashu Yang, Freshman, Colby-Sawyer   

First Team Doubles
Colby-Sawyer - Ashley Woodside, Senior / Yashu Yang, Freshman
Castleton - Ciara Bannister, Senior / Kirsten Kruk, Junior
Husson - Charlotte Bednarz, Junior / Sarah Smith, Graduate 

Second Team Singles
Lauren Blanchard, Senior, Colby-Sawyer
Meridith Blessard, Junior, Husson
Kirsten Kruk, Junior, Castleton
Olivia Mora, Senior, Thomas
Aislinn O'Connor, Junior, Colby-Sawyer
Sarah Smith, Graduate, Husson 

Second Team Doubles
Colby-Sawyer -Evelyn Miller, Senior / Aislinn O'Connor, Junior
MCLA - Sam Gawron, Junior / Mariza Sfakianaki, Senior
Castleton - Alexis Curley, Sophomore / Emily Miller, Sophomore
Thomas - Irune Arruti Moreno, Junior / Olivia Mora, Senior 

Player of the Year
Ashley Woodside, Senior, Colby-Sawyer 
Rookie of the Year
Yashu Yang, Freshman, Colby-Sawyer 
Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year
Evelyn Miller, Senior, Colby-Sawyer 
Coach of the Year
Rob Purdy, Eighth Season, Castleton

Sportsmanship Team
Ashley Fogg, Senior, Johnson
Emma Fontaine, Senior, Husson
Katherine Grill, Senior, MCLA
Nichole Jones, Senior, Lyndon
Evelyn Miller, Senior, Colby-Sawyer
Megan Nadler, Sophomore, Castleton
Lexi Raymond, Freshman, Thomas
Paige Vlahos, Senior, Green Mountain