Northwestern State’s Verma, Iwaniuk earn All-Louisiana honors

by Jonathon Zenk, NSU Sports Information Graduate Assistant

NSU—Following impressive campaigns that earned them All-Southland Cpmferemce selections, Rhea Verma and Ela Iwaniuk added another accolade, as both were named to the All-Louisiana second team and Verma was named All-Louisiana Freshman of the Year, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association announced Friday.

Verma is the first Lady Demon to be named All-Louisiana Freshman of the Year since Tatiana Larina in 2012.

The Lady Demons were one of three teams to have multiple players honored, joining LSU and Xavier (La.). The Tigers led the way with four athletes chosen, including three on the first team.

Verma, a redshirt freshman from Toronto, dominated at the No. 3 position for NSU, going 11-0 in Southland action and 16-6 overall. She became the first Lady Demon to finish unbeaten in conference play at singles since Natalya Krutova in 2015.

Iwaniuk, a junior from Konarskie, Poland, became the only NSU player to earn All-Southland, Academic All-Southland and All-Louisiana accolades. It is the second consecutive year she has been honored by the LSWA, after being named Newcomer of the Year last season.

She was lethal at the No. 5 spot in the rotation for NSU. Her 17-4 record overall and 10-1 record in Southland contests earned her a second team All-Southland honor, which is her second consecutive all-conference selection. That record also put in her in a tie for 12th place on NSU’s single-season winning percentage list (81 percent).

With her 10-1 conference record this season, she is now an impressive 19-3 in league play in her two years with the Lady Demons.

LSU’s Eden Richardson was once again named All-Louisiana Player of the Year. She has earned the honor both years with the Tigers. LSU’s Paris Corley earned Newcomer of the Year and LSU’s Julie and Michael Sell and Loyola’s Kyle Russell tied for Coach of the Year.

Of the 13 players on the two teams, two were on other Southland teams, led by McNeese’s Charoline Erlandsson, who was the only one to be named to the first team. New Orleans’ Trang Dao was named to the second team.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Eden Richardson, LSU

Others receiving votes: Sonia Chen, Louisiana Tech

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR – Rhea Verma, Northwestern State

Others receiving votes: Dalia Ahmed, McNeese; Maria Alfaro, ULM; Putri Insani, Southeastern; Antonia Ruessli, Nicholls


Others receiving votes: Angelica De Vincenzis, Xavier

COACH OF THE YEAR – TIE – Julie and Michael Sell, LSU; Kyle Russell, Loyola

Others receiving votes: Alan Green – Xavier

2019 LSWA All-Louisiana College Women’s Tennis Team


Eden Richardson, LSU

Charoline Erlandsson, McNeese

Sonia Chen, Louisiana Tech

Charlene Goreau, Xavier

Paris Corley, LSU

Jessica Golovin, LSU


Trang Dao, UNO

Taylor Bridges, LSU

Ivone Alvaro, Tulane

Rhea Verma, Northwestern State

Ela Iwaniuk, Northwestern State

*Maria Alfaro, ULM

*Mariia Borodii, Xavier

* = Tie for final position

Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services