Tusculum's Funke and Coker's Hellbe Named SAC Scholar-Athletes of the Year for Men's and Women's Tennis

Tusculum's Funke and Coker's Hellbe Named SAC Scholar-Athletes of the Year for Men's and Women's Tennis

ROCK HILL, S.C. (TheSAC.com) – Tusculum's Franziska Funke was voted the South Atlantic Conference Women's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while Coker's Henrick Hellbe was voted the Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Conference office announced today.

The South Atlantic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is presented annually to one student-athlete in each of the Conference's championship sports, and is voted on by the SAC's Faculty Athletic Representatives Committee. The winners are selected based on their achievements in academics, athletics, service and leadership.

Funke, a Management and Economics major from Bochum, Germany, finished her collegiate career with a 3.99 grade point average.  She is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and has been on the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Dean's List and President's List for four years. 

"Franziska had embodied everything it means to be a student-athlete during her career at Tusculum," said Tusculum head men's and women's tennis coach Adam Jackson.  "Her stellar career on the tennis court is indicative of the hard work and dedication she also puts into her studies, which has led her to being a role model for her teammates."

Funke was an outstanding tennis player since her freshman year earning All-SAC First Team honors in doubles for three years and All-SAC First Team honors in single for three consecutive years.  For her career, Funke had a 69-14 singles record, which is the most wins in Tusculum history.  This season she was ranked in the top-50 nationally in Division II and helped her team earn the No. 14 national ranking.

Off the court, Funke has been involved in numerous extracurricular activities.  Funke is a member of the Pioneer Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as well being an active member of the Read Across America Program.  Funke also gives her time to help teach tennis to middle school students, as well as volunteering at the Nichols Tennis Complex.

Hellbe, a Marketing and Economics major with a 3.99 grade point average, is a native of Stockholm, Sweden.  During his career at Coker, Hellbe was a two-time ITA Scholar Athlete, a two-time President's List selection and a four-time Dean's List honoree.  He also was given the Department of Business Administration's Outstanding Student Award as a senior.  

"I am so happy for Henrik to have been selected as the SAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for men's tennis," said Coker head men's and women's tennis coach Tom Simpson. "To have others recognize his enthusiasm, leadership, and excellence in his academic, athletic, and school activities is very rewarding. He has left a very positive legacy at Coker College and in the South Atlantic Conference."

On the tennis court, Hellbe earned All-SAC First Team honors for his doubles play with partner Mark Watt. The duo recorded a record of 12-9 at No. 1 doubles during the 2018 season.

Extremely active off the court in the community and beyond, Hellbe is a member of the Coker College Enactus team where he received the Service Leadership Award for 100-plus hours of service during both his sophomore and junior years. During his senior year he was awarded the Service Leadership Platinum Award for 500-plus hours of service. As part of Enactus, he helpled create project #DonateDala which raised $19,900 over two years in order to help support the people of Myanmar. Thanks to #DonateDala, the Coker Enactus team traveled to Myanmar to build a water system and an aquaponics system providing citizens with fresh water and sustainable food.

Hellbe also helped create mycampusmarket.org, helping social entrepreneurs digitize their business. He was nominated as the Executive Leader of the Year for Enactus United States. 

Other Women's Tennis Nominees

Kristen Rocko, Catawba
Julia Ponomareva, Lenoir-Rhyne
Carlotta Nassi, Queens
Suzanna Mickey, Coker
Jennifer Mezei, Coker
Sydney Homan, Wingate
Ali Harris, Carson-Newman

Other Men's Tennis Nominees

Daniel Belsito, Wingate
Luca Picci, Catawba
Tomas Hons, Lenoir-Rhyne
Felix Schweyer, Coker
Kevin Mendes, Carson-Newman

- #MakeSACYours –