WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Hadley DeBree and Maura Flaherty, two members of the Whitman College women’s tennis team, have earned All-Northwest Conference honors.
DeBree, a first-year Missionary who played No. 1 singles, was one of eight players named to the All-NWC First Team.
Flaherty, a senior who anchored the lower half of Whitman's singles line-up, was one of six players tabbed for the All-NWC Second Team. In voting by conference coaches, Flaherty also became the fourth consecutive Missionary to receive the annual Sportswoman of the Year award.
DeBree, a 2006 graduate of Wood River High School in Hailey, Idaho, was twice named NWC Player of the Week in her first season at Whitman. She won two of her three singles matches last weekend at the conference championships, finishing the season with a 14-5 record against NWC opponents.
DeBree and Divneet Kaur, first-year player from Eugene, Ore., played No. 2 doubles for most of the season, also won two of three matches at the conference tournament, putting the finishing touches on a 14-3 season against NWC foes.
"Hadley is the first player we’ve had since Paola Vizcaino in 2001 to earn first-team honors in her first season," Whitman coach Heidi Tate said. "She works hard and is very talented. It will be exciting to watch her develop into a nationally-ranked player during her career at Whitman."
Flaherty, a graduate of Blanchet School in Salem, Ore., earned Player of the Week honors once this past season. Bouncing between No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 in the singles line-up, Flaherty rolled to a 16-0 record against NWC opponents during the regular season. She was 19-1 overall, losing only to a player from NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State.
At last weekend’s NWC championships, Flaherty won two of her three matches to finish at 18-1 in conference play. She also teamed with sophomore Katie Oost at the conference tournament to win two of three matches at No. 3 doubles.
"It isn’t often that players in the lower half of the singles line-up get voted to the all-conference team," Tate said. "This shows how much other coaches respect Maura. And it was wonderful to see her recognized by coaches as Whitman’s fourth consecutive Sportswoman of the Year. Maura competed with heart every time she stepped on the court, and she treated her opponents with the utmost respect."
Katie Collier (Issaquah, Wash.), one of Flaherty's senior teammates, was voted Sportswoman of the Year last spring. Two years ago, current assistant coach Hannah Swee won the award to cap her senior season. Three seasons ago, Paola Vizcaino took home the sportsmanship trophy in her final year.
With DeBree and Flaherty leading the way, the Whitman women’s team posted an 18-7 record this season, which included a 14-5 mark against NWC teams. The Missionaries finished in a second-place tie during the regular season and then placed third at the conference championship tournament.