SKILLMAN, N.J. -- After earning a top 16 seed and winning two matches at the recently completed NCAA Singles Tournament, Saint Mary's women's tennis player Jenny Jullien knew she had secured her place among the nation's elite.
On Thursday, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) made that title official as Jullien was one of 16 singles players to be named a 2014 All-American. The honor comes on the heels of her landing at No. 12 in the final ITA rankings of the season earlier this week.
The two-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year becomes the first Saint Mary's tennis player, male or female, to earn All-America status. She is the first WCC female to receive the award since 2012 and, according to conference records dating back to 1988, becomes the first female from a school other than Pepperdine or San Diego ever to earn the honor. And, Jullien is the first female WCC singles player to earn the award since San Diego's Zuzana Lesenarova received the award in 2000.
By reaching the round of 16 at the NCAA Tournament in Georgia, Jullien capped a year that will go down as one of the great single seasons in SMC history. It started in the fall, as the native of Perpignan, France won her first five matches at the ITA Northwest Regional to become the first Saint Mary's tennis player ever to reach the finals of that event.
Thanks to her performance at Regionals, Jullien earned an invitation to the prestigious USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing, N.Y. There, she won two matches to reach the quarterfinal round, establishing herself yet again as one of the nation's top players.
That fact was reflected in the first ITA national rankings of the spring, as Jullien began her final season as a Gael ranked No. 7 in the nation. That ranking stands as the highest a Saint Mary's tennis player has ever been ranked nationally. Jullien wasted no time in justifying her lofty standing, winning her first seven decisions of the spring in a stretch that included a victory over the player she lost to in the ITA Regional final, No. 5-ranked Kristie Ahn of Stanford.
Jullien's strong play continued into WCC play and she finished her final regular season 7-1 in conference play. That record was good enough to earn her a second straight WCC Player of the Year award and she eventually went on to earn Most Improved Senior in the Northwest region honors from the ITA. She was also named to the All-WCC Academic team for the second straight season.