Katarina Jokic, after receiving two All-America honors and being chosen as a Honda Sport Award finalist last week, has been named the 2019 ITA Division I National Player of the Year for women’s tennis.
Jokic joins Angela Lettiere, who won the award in 1994, as the only the only two Georgia women's tennis player in program history to win the National Player of the Year Award.
Also Jokic is also only the second Bulldog to conclude the season in the top spot of the ITA singles rankings. Previously, Marissa Catlin finished the 1998 season with the No. 1 singles rankings.
“I’ve always said when you have a group focused and willing to work together as a team to achieve championships, individual awards will come our way,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “[Jokic was] an outstanding performer for us on the No. 1 singles and doubles court all spring. She has worked hard to earn the No. 1 singles ranking and National Player of the Year. I’m thrilled for her individual recognition as she has put so much into this team.”
Jokic’s performances were massive for the Bulldogs this year. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships after going 4-0 and clinching the final two matches to secure Georgia's sixth all-time team title. In NCAA Team Championships, she defeated her opponent in the quarterfinals and semifinals to aid the Bulldogs to their first NCAA Championship appearance since 2000.
Jokic excelled in her own right, reaching the finals of the two most prestigious singles events of the collegiate season–the NCAA Championships and the ITA National Fall Championships–and winning the latter. No other player in the country was able to reach the quarterfinals of both.
In the team dual season, Jokic was 11-4, playing all of her matches on court one, and she concluded the season with a 26-6 overall singles record and a 21-5 record against ranked opponents.
In the final nine days of the season, which included the NCAA Team and Individual Championships, Jokic played 15 matches and gained an 11-3 record. No other player on the men or women’s side played as many matches.
Jokic was named to NCAA All-Tournament Team at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles. A day later, she was back on the court in the NCAA Singles Championships as the No. 2-seed, which earned her automatic All-America honors. Her run to the Singles Championships finals emphasized the All-America honors were deserved. In three of those six days of individual competition, she was also participating in the doubles tournament. The No. 1 Bulldog duo of Jokic and freshman Lourdes Carle advanced to the quarterfinals, earning Jokic another All-America award. The three career All-America honors make Jokic the 19th Bulldog to have at least that many in program history.
Jokic continues to amass awards for her individual performances and praise for her team performances. Her final pending award, the Honda Sport Award, will be presented by The Collegiate Women Sports Association this week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools.