2023 NAIA Women's Tennis Players of the Week

2023 NAIA Women's Tennis Players of the Week

Student-athletes were nominated for their performances and were selected out of a pool of conference and Continental Athletic Conference award winners.

Quick Find: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8

Week 8 (May 3, 2023)

Player of the Week: Violet Apisah, Keiser (Fla.)


The No. 1 player in the NAIA added to her list of awards last week, claiming Sun Conference Player of the Year and being part of the Sun Conference Doubles Team of the Year. In the Sun Conference Tournament, Apisah continued to strive forward, taking both of her doubles matches and clinching the final point of the Sun Conference Tournament Championship over No. 5 Ave Maria. With her win over the Gyrenes, she tied the program record for most wins in a regular season and helped bring the team their seventh conference tournament title.


Nominees: McKenna Wheatley, Xavier (La.), Kristina Khmelevskaia, Midland (Neb.), Jordan Ortega Mendez, William Carey (Miss.), Clara Ruediger, Holy Cross (Ind.), Camila Sanchez, McPherson College (Kan.), and Sophie Smith, Cornerstone (Mich.).

Week 7 (April 26, 2023)

Player of the Week: Justine Lespes, Georgia Gwinnett


Justine Lespes turned in a dominating performance in the regular-season finale against No. 7 Middle Georgia State last Saturday. She defeated the No. 37-ranked singles player Marina Prieto by identical 6-1 set scores on the No. 2 court. That came after picking up a 6-1 win at No. 1 doubles with teammate Cassidy Mataia. Her strong performance helped the junior climb to No. 5 in the NAIA national singles ranking with a 14-0 record and No. 2 in the national doubles ranking with a 7-0 record with Mataia and an overall 14-2 doubles record.


Nominees: Mayra Gisone, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Jil Hellerforth, Morningside (Iowa), Joelle Leihbacher, Marian (Ind.), Anna Ruiz Masip, Middle Georgia State, Agustina Olivero, Midway (Ky.), Camila Sanchez, McPherson (Kan.), and Olivia Schoppa, Lourdes (Ohio).

Week 6 (April 19, 2023)

Player of the Week: Meiri Okuwaki, Cumberlands (Ky.)


Meiri Okuwaki was dominant on the week going 7-0 over four matches and contributing seven points for UC. Against Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Meiri won her doubles match to help clinch the doubles point, while her singles win gave UC a 3-1 lead in the match. She followed that up by not surrendering a game over her next three matches as UC clinched the MSC Regular season title.


Nominees: Renee Acena, College of Saint Mary (Neb.), Eliza Camp, Kansas Wesleyan, Kissmel Cedano Lapaix, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Jelena Lopicic, Northwestern Ohio, Iryna Lysykh, Georgia Gwinnett, Augustina Olivero, Midway (Ky.), Marina Prieto, Middle Georgia State, and Lara Teodoro, Ave Maria (Fla.).

Week 5 (April 12, 2023)

Player of the Week: Jordan Ortega Mendez, William Carey (Miss.)


Ortega Mendez went 4-0 individually as the Crusaders picked up a pair of Top-12 wins. Won both her singles and doubles matches against both No. 12 Mobile (Ala.) and No. 11 St. Thomas (Fla.).


Nominees: Isabella Ciancaglini-Ribera, St. Thomas (Fla.) Graziela Dallagnol, Midland (Neb.), Ellie Fritcha, Concordia (Neb.), Daniela Herrera, Bethel (Kan.), Camila Sanchez, McPherson (Kan.), Cassie Saner, Thomas More (Ky.), Aspasia Katsouda Taka, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Isabella Todorovic, Oakland City (Ind.), and Sophia Vandegriff, Saint Francis (Ind.).

Week 4 (April 5, 2023)

Player of the Week: Lucy Carpenter, Loyola (La.)


Went 5-0 at the SSAC Roundup, playing every match at the No. 1 position in singles and doubles.


Nominees: Mbali Langa, Xavier (La.), Ava Macke, Doane (Neb.), Cassidy Mataia, Georgia Gwinnett, Meiri Okuwaki, Cumberlands (Ky.), Denisse Lizano, St. Francis (Ill.), Linda Marino, IU East, Cleo Moore, Lourdes (Ohio), and Camila Sanchez, McPherson College (Kan.).

Week 3 (March 29, 2023)

Player of the Week: Maria Jose Reynaldo Toledo, Mobile (Ala.)


Helped lead No. 20 Mobile to a 2-0 start to conference play, defeating the reigning SSAC Women's Tennis Player of the Year in the process. Was 2-0 in singles action and also won both of her doubles matches.



Agustina Olivero, Midway (Ky.), Yi Chen Pao, Xavier (La.), Isidora Hrnjak, Ottawa (Kan.), Camila Ibarra, Cornerstone (Mich.), Ari Lumanog, Midland (Neb.), Cassidy Mataia, Georgia Gwinnett, Darija Mladenovic, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Gabriella Noa, St. Francis (Ill.), Meiri Okuwaki, Cumberlands (Ky.), and Paola Testa, Johnson (Tenn.)

Week 2 (March 22, 2023)

Player of the Week: Justine Lespes, Georgia Gwinnett


Justine Lespes recorded a pair of wins against ranked opposition as the No. 2-ranked Grizzlies swept No. 3 SCAD Savannah in an impressive performance on Saturday. The junior clinched the match with GGC's fourth point of the match with a 6-0, 7-5 win against No. 22 Yue Yu on the No. 2 singles court. Lespes teamed with sophomore Cassidy Mataia to win all six games on the No. 1 doubles court as the No. 2-ranked duo defeated No. 10-ranked Yue Yu and Alessia Piccollori. The doubles victory helped set the tone for the match and day as the Grizzlies collected their second sweep against SCAD Savannah this season.



Heidi Moyo, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), Fatima Vasquez, Loyola (La.), Ana Alvarez, Sterling (Kan.), Emma Chrome, Marian (Ind.), Mikaela Fros, Cumberlands (Ky.), Valentina Largacha, Xavier (La.), Agustina Olivero, Midway (Ky.), Andrea Rodriguez Oria, Ave Maria (Fla.), Sophie Smith, Cornerstone (Mich.), Lidia Suarez, Morningside (Iowa), and Paola Testa, Johnson (Tenn.).

Week 1 (March 15, 2023)

Player of the Week: Annie Carrera, St. Thomas (Fla.)


Annie Carrera got the Bobcats back on track after their first loss of the season and now ride a new win streak at 5 straight. Carrera help STU to a clean week of work on Spring Break going 5-0 in singles, highlighted by an upset of No. 40 Banning from Cardinal Stritch. In doubles play, Carrera went 4-1. STU is now 12-1 on the year and has been recently bumped up to No. 11 in the country.



Mbali Langa, Xavier (La.), Maria Jose Reynaldo Toledo, Mobile (Ala.), Marta Garcia, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), Justine Lespes, Georgia Gwinnett, Mariana Molano, Concordia (Neb.), Marina Nagai, Cumberlands (Ky.), Juliana Puente, Oakland City (Ind.), Camila Sanchez, McPherson (Kan.), Mallory Schardt, Lourdes (Ohio), and Paola Testa, Johnson (Tenn.)



2023 Composite Winners:

Week 1 (March 15): Annie Carrera, St. Thomas (Fla.) 
Week 2 (March 22): Justine Lespes, Georgia Gwinnett 
Week 3 (March 29): Maria Jose Reynaldo Toledo, Mobile (Ala.)
Week 4 (April 5): Lucy Carpenter, Loyola (La.)
Week 5 (April 12): Jordan Ortega Mendez, William Carey (Miss.)
Week 6 (April 19): Meiri Okuwaki, Cumberlands (Ky.)
Week 7 (April 26): Justine Lespes, Georgia Gwinnett
Week 8 (May 3): Violet Apisah, Keiser (Fla.)

Championship Information

NAIA Women's Tennis Championship


May 14 - 18, 2024
Mobile Tennis Center
Mobile, Ala.