Pac-12 names tennis Scholar-Athletes of the Year

UCLA Athletics / Holly Roberts

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference has named UCLA’s Dennis Mkrtchian and Kaitlin Ray as the 2015 Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Tennis Scholar-Athletes of the Year, announced by commissioner Larry Scott. The award has been established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline. 

Mkrtchian returned for his senior season after missing the final three months of his junior season due to injury and has consistently been one of the top performers for the Bruins squad since. The Reseda, Calif., native finished the regular season with a 26-8 overall record and a 13-5 mark in dual play that includes an undefeated 3-0 mark at the No. 1 position after anchoring the team’s No. 3 positions in both singles and doubles. Mkrtchian also won the Southern California Intercollegiate Championships in the fall and reached the singles final at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup. Off the court, Mkrtchian is a double major focusing on International Development Studies and Political Science, holding a 3.69 grade point average. He was a second-team Pac-12 All-Academic selection as a sophomore in 2013. 

Ray is a member of a senior class that has helped UCLA amass a 92-14 overall record during their tenure, including winning the 2014 NCAA Championship. She posted a 29-3 overall record her freshman year, then returned after missing much of her sophomore season due to injury and was instrumental in UCLA’s run to the NCAA title. So far in 2015, Ray has a 22-11 overall record, splitting most of her time between the No. 4 and No. 5 positions and posting four wins over nationally ranked opponents. Academically, Ray is a two-time first-team Pac-12 All-Academic selection. A communications major, she holds a 3.95 grade point average, the highest cumulative GPA for any student-athlete at UCLA. 

In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50% of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.

A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12’s 22 sponsored sports: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, men’s rowing, women’s rowing, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track & field, women’s track & field, women’s volleyball, and wrestling.

The Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards were established during the 2007-08 academic year.

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