Wingate's Kelli Ferguson is SAC Scholar-Athlete Award winner
Rock Hill, S.C.----Wingate University junior Kelli Ferguson (Concord, N.C.) is the 2012 South Atlantic Conference Scholar-Athlete Award winner for women’s tennis, league officials announce Tuesday. The SAC Scholar-Athlete Award recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement, service and leadership. The award is determined by a vote of the conference’s Faculty Athletic Representatives.
Ferguson earns the prestigious award for the first time in her career. She becomes the 58th student-athlete from Wingate to earn the honor, tops on the all-time SAC charts. In Bulldog women’s tennis history, Ferguson is the sixth student-athlete to be recognized. Patti Webster (1992, 1993), Marci Timm (1995), Mindi Kammann (1998), Doriana Vladimirova (2000) and Jenna Calomeris (2001, 2002) are previous Wingate women’s tennis SAC Scholar-Athlete Award winners.
“I am so excited for Kelli to win this award,” Wingate head coach Michael Cabana says. “She is such a hard worker both on and off the court. Kelli is in one of the toughest majors at the university. For her to have the success she has had is a true testament to how hard she works.”
On the courts, Ferguson had a standout regular season for conference-champion Wingate. She compiled a 14-2 mark at the number five singles position and an 8-3 ledger at number three doubles. She was the Most Valuable Player at last year’s Food Lion SAC Tennis Championship, helping Wingate advance to the NCAA Division II play-offs.
In the classroom, Ferguson carries a 3.838 GPA as a Chemistry major. During her three years on campus, Ferguson has been selected to the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, the Wingate President’s and Dean’s Lists, the Capital One Academic All-District III team and the Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Chi academic fraternities.
Ferguson has also been a participant at Wingate’s Summer Research Symposium; she was awarded a research grant in the summer of 2011. Ferguson presented her research at the SERMACS convention in Richmond last fall.
In the community, Ferguson has volunteered with numerous groups and initiatives. Her list includes Habitat for Humanity, the Charlotte Racquet Club, United Way and the ITA Campus Kids’ Day. A member of the Wingate Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Ferguson served as a peer mentor for incoming freshmen. She assisted with a breast cancer awareness fundraiser in 2011.
“Kelli is a great influence on those around her,” Wingate Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Chris Dahm says. “During her time as a peer mentor, Kelli had the opportunity to make a huge impact. She was able to help incoming freshmen navigate the culture of the campus, while forming relationships with them.”
Next for Ferguson and her Bulldog teammates is the 2012 Food Lion SAC women’s tennis tournament Thursday through Saturday at the Rock Hill Tennis Center. Wingate won a share of the SAC regular season title, going 8-1 in league play. The Bulldogs are the number one seed, so they will receive a first-round bye and begin play on Friday. Wingate (16-4 overall) has won six straight matches entering the tournament.