Chris Evert Award winner Laura Sonday headlines 2019 MIAC Women's Tennis awards

Laura Sonday
Saint Mary's senior Laura Sonday was selected as the 2019 MIAC Chris Evert Award winner.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) announced the 2019 MIAC Women's Tennis Awards on Wednesday, including the Chris Evert Award, Coach of the Year, All-Conference and honorable mention teams and All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.

Saint Mary's senior Laura Sonday was selected as the 2019 MIAC Chris Evert Award winner. The award annually recognizes a senior women's tennis student-athlete who exhibits outstanding sportsmanship and exemplary athletic, academic and humanitarian accomplishments.

Sonday (Sr. | West St. Paul, Minn. | South St. Paul) played every match for Saint Mary's at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles over the last four years. She finished her career with more than 100 combined victories and was a three-time All-MIAC selection in singles play and a two-time All-Conference honoree as a doubles competitor. A two-time Academic All-MIAC recipient and three-time International Tennis Scholar Association scholar-athlete, Sonday is also the president of the Cardinals' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a leader within the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and part of the Lasallian Honors program at SMU. Beyond athletics, she has been a four-year participant in concert choir and serves as an admissions student ambassador and a tutor for the student success center on campus.

"For all her awards and abilities on the court, her best attribute is that she is just an awesome person -- selfless, thoughtful, funny, kind, and generous," Saint Mary's coach Jeff Halberg said. "She has been our official team captain for two years, but in a sense, she has been captain of the team since she showed up her freshman year. Laura is a born leader."

In addition to the Chris Evert Award, MIAC tennis coaches also selected the MIAC Women's Tennis Coach of the Year. Bethel coach Drew Fernelius and Saint Mary's coach Jeff Halberg were both honored by their peers as Co-Coaches of the Year. The award is the third for each coach with Fernelius previously receiving the honor in 2016 and 2018, while Halberg was selected the Men's Coach of the Year in 2013 and the Women's Co-Coach of the Year in 2010. Fernelius has guided the Royals to all five of their MIAC Playoff berths during his seven seasons in Arden Hills, while Halberg took the Cards to their second MIAC tournament appearance in the last three seasons.

The 2019 MIAC Women's Tennis All-Conference Singles and Doubles teams were also recognized. The All-Conference team is selected based on performance during conference dual matches, with the top 18 players (including ties) recognized for both singles and doubles. A player must play in five conferences matches at any position to be eligible for the honor. For the first time ever, coaches also voted on an honorable mention team.

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the 13th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for men's tennis. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.


2019 MIAC Women's Tennis Awards

Chris Evert Award – Laura Sonday | Saint Mary's University (Sr. | West St. Paul, Minn. | South St. Paul)

Coach of the Year – Drew Fernelius | Bethel University (7th Season), Jeff Halberg | Saint Mary's University (21st Season)


 2019 MIAC Women's Tennis All-Conference Singles Team
Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
Kristina Conrad Carleton Sr. Plymouth, Minn. | Robbinsdale Armstrong
Courtney Fenech Hamline Fy. Plano, Texas | University Prep
Lilly Hartman Gustavus Sr. Cedar Rapids, Iowa | Washington
Briana Hartmann Gustavus Sr. Owatonna, Minn.
Natasha Hood St. Thomas Jr. London, England | Lewis & Clark College
Catherine Lindsay St. Thomas So. Eau Claire, Wis. | Memorial
Taylor McLeod St. Thomas Jr. Vadnais Heights, Minn. | Benilde-St. Margaret's
Mackenzie Novak Bethel So. Eagan, Minn. | Eastview
Simona Potockova Gustavus Fy. Nova' Dubnica, Slovakia
Madeline Prins Carleton Jr. Pacific Palisades, Calif. | Palisades Charter
Grace Riermann Bethel Fy. Stillwater, Minn. | Mahtomedi
Maggie Riermann Bethel So. Stillwater, Minn. | Mahtomedi
Sonya Romanenko Carleton Fy. San Diego, Calif. | Rancho Bernardo
Laura Sonday Saint Mary's Sr. West St. Paul, Minn. | South St. Paul
Anna Stutz Gustavus Fy. Dellwood, Minn.
Ginger Valentine Gustavus So. Delano, Minn.
Jill Weinzettel Bethel Sr. Hastings, Minn.
Alisha Wiedmeier St. Catherine Jr. Rapid City, S.D. | Stevens
Jeanny Zhang Carleton Fy. Guangzhou, China | Dwight School

 2019 MIAC Women's Tennis All-Conference Doubles Team
Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
Hannah Borgh Gustavus So. Bettendorf, Iowa
Kristina Conrad Carleton Sr. Plymouth, Minn. | Robbinsdale Armstrong
Courtney Fenech Hamline Fy. Plano, Texas | University Prep
Lilly Hartman Gustavus Sr. Cedar Rapids, Iowa | Washington
Briana Hartmann Gustavus Sr. Owatonna, Minn.
Taylor Jackson St. Thomas Fy. Savage, Minn. | Prior Lake
Colleen Lois Saint Mary's So. Green Bay, Wis. | Notre Dame Academy
Paige McLeod St. Thomas Jr. Vadnais Heights, Minn. | Benilde-St. Margaret's
Taylor McLeod St. Thomas Jr. Vadnais Heights, Minn. | Benilde-St. Margaret's
Mackenzie Novak Bethel So. Eagan, Minn. | Eastview
Olivia Paradise St. Thomas Fy. Mahtomedi, Minn.
Natalie Pieterick Hamline Sr. Eau Claire, Wis. | Regis
Simona Potockova Gustavus Fy. Nova' Dubnica, Slovakia
Madeline Prins Carleton Jr. Pacific Palisades, Calif. | Palisades Charter
Grace Riermann Bethel Fy. Stillwater, Minn. | Mahtomedi
Maggie Riermann Bethel So. Stillwater, Minn. | Mahtomedi
Laura Sonday Saint Mary's Sr. West St. Paul, Minn. | South St. Paul
Ginger Valentine Gustavus So. Delano, Minn.
Jill Weinzettel Bethel Sr. Hastings, Minn.

 2019 MIAC Women's Tennis Honorable Mention Team
Name Institution Class Team  Hometown | High School
Megan Anderson Hamline Jr. Singles Eagan, Minn.
Julia Boeve Saint Mary's Sr. Singles St. James, Minn.
Bri Dorr St. Catherine Jr. Singles Princeton, Minn.
Taylor Jackson St. Thomas Fy. Singles Savage, Minn. | Prior Lake
Sabrina Barboza St. Olaf So. Doubles Katy, Texas | Seven Lakes
Greta Prokosch St. Olaf So. Doubles Mendota Heights, Minn. | Henry Sibley
Anna Stutz Gustavus Fy. Doubles Dellwood, Minn.

 2019 MIAC Women's Tennis All-Sportsmanship Team
Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
Jill Weinzettel Bethel Sr. Hastings, Minn.
Kristina Conrad Carleton Sr. Plymouth, Minn. | Robbinsdale Armstrong
Lisa Neumann Concordia Sr. Annandale, Minn.
Sheila Sullivan Gustavus Sr. St. Paul, Minn. | St. Paul Academy
Tessa Rugg Hamline Fy. Snohomish, Wash.
Laurel Hickey Macalester So. Chatham, N.J.
Tessa Rahrick Saint Benedict Jr. Owatonna, Minn.
Maddy Knoll St. Catherine Jr. Waseca, Minn.
Marissa Kinzer Saint Mary's Sr. Aitkin, Minn.
Ellie Bergstrand St. Olaf Sr. Alexandria, Minn.
Catherine Lindsay St. Thomas So. Eau Claire, Wis. | Memorial