Miseviciute Strode finalists for SEC?s highest honor

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas senior tennis players Aurelija Miseviciute and Blake Strode are finalists for the Southeastern Conference’s highest honor, the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award, it was announced today.

Miseviciute and Strode move on to the 24-member, 12 male and 12 female, nomination pool from which a male and female winner will be selected by a committee of faculty athletics representatives from SEC universities. Winners of the award receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship provided by AT&T. Finalists receive a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship.

“We are proud that Aurelija and Blake have been recognized for their outstanding accomplishments on the court, in the classroom and in the community,” Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “Both of them represent the very best of Razorback Athletics. Time and time again they have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to academic and athletic achievement. On behalf of the entire Razorback program, I would like to congratulate Aurelija and Blake on being selected as finalists for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award.”

Miseviciute is the most decorated women’s tennis player in Arkansas’ history. She recently became the winningest women’s player in program history with more than 110 career wins. The second-ranked player in the country, Miseviciute has played her way to a 27-3 singles record and an 18-7 mark in doubles this year helping Arkansas remain in the top 25 as a team.

The two-time ITA National Indoor Singles Champion (2007, 2008) has been ranked as the No. 1 collegiate women’s player during her career. She paced Arkansas to the SEC Western Division title for the first time in program history last year and guided the Razorbacks to a program-first NCAA Elite Eight appearance.

Miseviciute’s honors include ITA All-America, SEC First-Team and she was a Honda Award finalist. She was also honored by the athletic department in January as one of its Salute to Excellence honorees.

In addition to her success on the court, Miseviciute earned SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors in 2008, is a member of the ESPN, The Magazine Academic All-America At-Large Team and is a multiple-time selection to both the SEC and the University Athletics Department honor rolls.

Strode’s career has been equally successful at Arkansas.

Currently ranked No. 15 in the country, Strode has more than 80 career wins with the Razorbacks. The recipient of the 2008 Central Region ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship, Strode is a three-time team captain at Arkansas. He reached the quarterfinals at the 2008 ITA All-America Tournament and was a first-team All-SEC selection.

In the classroom, Strode earned a pair of ESPN, The Magazine All-District honors, was the 2008 SEC Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year and is a multiple-time member of the University Athletics Department and SEC Academic honor rolls. Strode was also honored by the athletic department as a Salute to Excellence honoree at a banquet in January.

The duo join other members of the SEC on the final ballot. The winners of the SEC’s H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award will be announced as part of National Student-Athlete Day April 6.

For more information about either Miseviciute or Strode or the women’s and men’s tennis teams, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.