Lawless, Hein lead way as Whit women net honors

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WALLA WALLA — After a banner regular season, the Whitman women’s tennis team garnered the top two honors as the All-Northwest Conference team was announced Thursday, as voted on by the coaches.

Missionary sophomore Courtney Lawless was tabbed the NWC Player of the Year and Whitman’s John Hein the NWC Coach of the Year.

Meanwhile, two other Whits, Alyssa Roberg — last year’s Player of the Year — and Morgan Lawless joined Courtney on the first-team all-conference, and first-year player Jenna Dobrin earned second-team honors.

The recognition comes after the No. 17-ranked Missionaries completed a perfect 12-0 conference season and won the conference tournament without giving up a point. Whitman’s overall record as it prepares for the NCAA Tournament is 17-3.

Courtney Lawless tallied a 17-2 regular season mark, before going 2-0 in straight sets during the conference championships. She teamed with Roberg at No. 1 doubles to notch a 13-4 regular-season record, and the pair won both of their conference championship matches.

This is the second Coach of the Year honor for Hein, who also received the accolade after the 2010 season when he led the Missionaries to a third-place conference finish with a 12-4 mark in just his second season.

After winning their second straight NWC Tournament championship, the Missionaries earned an automatic bid to the NCAA postseason and will learn where they will play in the regionals the first week of May.

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