The National, Thursday 9th May 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
PAPUA New Guinea’s top women’s tennis player, Abigail Tere-Apisah has been named the Georgia State University’s female student athlete of the year.
Tere-Apisah, 20, pictured, was recognised by the Georgia State Athletic Department for leading the women’s team to the Sun Belt title championships in 2012.
The Sun Belt tournament is a recognised National Colleges Athletics Association (NCAA) competition.
In an email to her tennis-playing parents, Kwalum and Vere-Tere Apisah, she said she was forever thankful for the role they played in allowing her to achieve what she had.
“What a huge privilege and honour to win such a huge award like that,” she said.
“It was the biggest award given to any student athlete. It wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of you both.
“You guys have done so much for me and I’m thankful for all the work you put in to make sure that we have the best. I’m so proud to be your daughter … I really am.
“I dedicate this award to you both,” she said.
The young woman of Morobe and Central parentage, who is now heading into her final year of her four-year ITF scholarship, made the top 16 draw in the singles and reached the doubles final with partner Masa Grgan – a first for the university.
The award was given during the GSU’s 58th annual recognition banquet at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta on April 25.
Last year she won All-American status, which she earned after advancing into the round of 16 at the NCAA tournament.
She moved to a high 22 ranking in the NCAA singles after defeating seven nationally ranked players.
Proud father and long-time PNG tennis coaching instructor, Kwalum Apisah yesterday said his daughter had qualified for this year’s NCAA singles and doubles.