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Six Blazers Named to GSC Spring Academic Teams; 50 Earn GSC Academic Honor Roll

VALDOSTA, Ga. – A total of six Valdosta State student-athletes earned Gulf South Conference Spring All-Academic honors, while 50 Blazers were named to the GSC Spring Academic Honor Roll, the league office announced Friday.

Softball standouts Morgan Hill and Taylor Macera, along with junior Luca Mack and senior Christian Felline from men’s tennis, senior Chase Weathers of men’s golf and junior Natalie Kohoutkova of women’s tennis earned GSC All-Academic honors this spring.  For the 2022-23 year, VSU had ten student-athletes earn All-Academic accolades, while 110 student-athletes earned GSC Academic Honor Roll.

Hill, a native of Lake Park, Ga., earned Second Team Academic All-America as selected by College Sports Communicators for the second time in her career this season, while she graduated with a 3.97 grade point average in health sciences in May.  Hill was awarded the President’s Award for Academic Excellence, while earning both VSU Female and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors in 2022-23.  By earning the President’s Award, she carried the banner for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

On the field, she finished third on the team in average at a .323 clip in 47 starts.  She collected 51 hits, 47 runs scored, ten doubles, 13 home runs and 37 RBI.  Hill slugged .633 for second on the team, while she reached base at a .400 clip with 20 walks.  She went 16 of 18 in stolen bases for the season.

This marks her third year earning GSC All-Academic honors and fourth of earning GSC Academic Honor Roll.  She has one season of eligibility left for the 2023-24 campaign and will begin work on a master’s degree at VSU.

Macera, a native of Valdosta, Ga., finished with a 3.63 GPA and graduating with a degree in biology.  She plans on attending medical school in Savannah next year.  She has earned GSC Academic Honor Roll each of her years at VSU and earned Academic All-District honors this season.

This year, she hit .366 for second on the team in 49 starts at second base.  She had 56 hits to lead the team with 36 runs scored, 13 doubles, 14 home runs and 41 RBI.  Macera slugged .725 for second on the team, while she reached base at a .417 clip with 12 walks and was hit twice.  For her career, she hit .302 in 157 games played with 149 starts.  She finished with 130 hits, 27 doubles, 76 runs scored, 21 home runs and 94 RBI.

Mack, a native of Emmendingen, Germany, earned the prestigious ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award in 2022-23.  The award recognizes outstanding student-athletes in all five divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO) at the regional and national level. This prestigious award, which dates back to 1982, is presented to the men’s and women’s national student-athletes who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership, as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.  He also earned Second Team Academic All-America as selected by College Sports Communicators.

This season, Mack was named Gulf South Conference Men’s Tennis Champion Scholar-Athlete, GSC Men’s Tennis Player of the Year and VSU Male Athlete of the Year.  He earned GSC Top Ten honors and was a finalist for the Commissioner’s Trophy, which is the highest individual honor the GSC bestows.  Mack helped lead VSU to a 21-1 record, a Gulf South Conference regular season, league tournament title and a national semifinal finish. He began the 2022-23 season finishing as national runner-up at the ITA Fall National Championships in singles.

Mack finished the season 25-2 in singles and is No. 2 nationally in the latest ITA rankings, while he and junior teammate Rodrigo Carvalho went 20-1 in doubles and are third nationally.  Mack earned ITA All-America honors in both singles and doubles for the second-straight year.

Last season, Mack was 20-6 in singles and 19-10 in doubles as he and Carvalho finished the season No. 1 nationally with a 16-5 record together.  In 2021, Mack went 10-4 in singles and 7-1 in GSC play, while he was 9-6 in doubles and 6-2 in conference play.  Mack earned GSC Academic Honor Roll accolades each year, along with Academic All-GSC in 2022.  He is 55-12 all-time in singles for the Blazers and 23-3 in GSC play, while he is 49-18 in doubles and 21-5 in league play.

Felline, a native of Biella, Italy, earned GSC Academic Honor Roll accolades and Academic All-District honors this season.  He finished with a 3.78 GPA in International Business and earned second team All-GSC this season.  He went 12-3 in singles and 9-5 in doubles this year and was VSU’s nomination for the NCA Elite 90 Award as Felline helped lead the Blazers to the national semifinal round.

Weathers, graduated with a 3.78 GPA in Management and finished with a 76.43 stroke average in ten tournaments this season.  This marked his second time of being named GSC All-Academic in his career.  He logged 28 round this season with 22 rounds in the 70s and a low-round of 72 twice.  Weathers earned all-conference honors once in 2021 and earned GCAA All-America Scholar honors in both 2021 and 2022.  He has earned GSC Academic Honor Roll accolades each year.

Kohoutkova, a native of the Czech Republic, earned the GSC Women’s Tennis Champion Scholar-Athlete Award this year and named Academic All-District this season.  She went 7-7 in singles this season and 7-9 in doubles at the top spot in the lineup.  Kohoutkova has a 3.64 GPA in International Business and has earned GSC Academic Honor Roll accolades each season.  She was named First Team All-GSC in 2022-23.

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