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2022 SEC Women's Tennis Community Service Team

2022 SEC Women’s Tennis Community Service Team

2 hours ago
SEC Staff

Photo: Southeastern Conference

BIRMINGHAM​, Ala. (April 13, 2022) – In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the SEC once again highlighted a Community Service Team for women’s tennis for the 2021-22 season.

All league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men’s and women’s sports being chosen from 1999-2003.

Loudmilla Bencheikh • Alabama

Sophomore • Angresse, France

Loudmilla Bencheikh led the Crimson Tide in community service hours during the fall. She volunteered over 26 hours during the semester at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter. Her involvement at the animal shelter led to her foster a cat during the fall. In addition to her hours helping animals, Bencheikh volunteered her time at DCH Healthcare and helped with Alabama’s Adapted Athletics Tennis Tournament.

Claire Slaughter • Arkansas

Junior • Kingwood, Texas

Claire Slaughter is involved in numerous community service projects in the Northwest-Arkansas community. Claire’s impact on the community has involved writing letters to health care workers and veterans, volunteering at the The First School’s Fall Festival and helping fundraisers for St. Jude’s. Claire is also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee where she works on various other community service projects. Claire is a member of Tri Delta sorority where she is involved in fundraisers for their philanthropy, St. Jude’s. She is also a member of the pre-law society and was named to the Chancellor’s List for her academic success last semester. Claire was also named to the SEC Community Service Team last season.

Carolyn Ansari • Auburn

Junior • Greensboro, N.C.

Carolyn Ansari has been active in the Auburn community throughout her three years on the Plains. Around the Christmas holidays, she helped with youth development gifts and Angel Tree tags. She has been active with the campus food pantry annual food drive two years in a row, and she helped out with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee food and hygiene drive this year. Carolyn also volunteered at Morningside assisted living, helping decorate the facility for Christmas. Carolyn is a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Marlee Zein • Florida

Senior • Sugar Land, Texas

Marlee Zein has given back to the Gainesville community in numerous ways. Zein has volunteered her time to help with Gator Tracks, an event where student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators collect shoes for students in seven Alachua County schools that are on free or reduced lunch. The Sugar Land, Texas, native volunteered her time not only wrapping the shoes at the wrapping party but sharing the gifts at Lake Elementary and Williams Elementary. In addition to working with Gator Tracks, Zein has volunteered her time helping at the Race for Inclusion, a race that fights against “fear of difference” and a demand that people with ID be “treated with equality, dignity, and the recognition of our shared humanity.” The senior also finds time to assist at Shands Children’s Hospital throughout the year.

Meg Kowalski • Georgia

Graduate • Chicago, Ill.

This season graduate Meg Kowalski has led the Georgia men’s and women’s tennis team’s joint effort in “Serving for a Cause”. The goal of Serving for a Cause is to generate money to send local children at the Boys and Girls Club of Athens to summer camp. The Boys and Girls Club summer camp offers families in Athens the opportunity to send their children to the Boys and Girls Club while the school-year program is not in session. In previous years, Kowalski has been a part of First Serve, an hour-long tennis clinic to introduce the community to the game of tennis, volunteered at Special Pops, a special needs tennis clinic, teaching tennis to those who attend the clinic, Food2Kids Snack Drive benefiting the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, distributed groceries to underprivileged Athens residents in a mobile pantry car drive, and “Giving Challenge” which encouraged Georgia students to donate toiletries for unhoused populations vis Bigger Visions Community Shelter. In addition, Kowalski and other members of the Georgia women’s tennis team collect and distribute old tennis balls from practice and matches to the local animal shelters and clinics in the Athens area.

Elizabeth Stevens • Kentucky

Sophomore • Tigard, Ore.

Elizabeth Stevens, a sophomore, has dedicated 25 hours of community service during the 2021-22 academic year. Some of the organizations she has volunteered with are EESA, the Kentucky Tennis Clinic, James Lane Elementary School, Southern Lights and the Julie Ditty Foundation. Her community service projects have included helping children in the classroom, providing tennis lessons to both children and adults and assisting with 5k runs.

Ena Babic • LSU

Graduate • Cakovec, Croatia

Ena Babic has given back to the Baton Rouge community in her first year at LSU. Babic was a key part of the LSU women’s tennis impact on LSU’s annual Halloween BOO-zar. The BOO-zar, which connects LSU student-athletes and coaches with the local community, saw student athletes distribute candy and play Halloween-themed games with family and children on LSU’s sorority row. Babic served as the leading volunteer for the women’s tennis team at the BOOzar and left a positive impact.

Sabina Machalova • Ole Miss

Senior • Zlin, Czechia Sabina

Machalova has made a tremendous impact to the Oxford, Mississippi community and is an exemplary role-model on and off the court. The No. 1 Singles and Doubles team captain for the Rebels tennis team has contributed to the community through both the Ole Miss Athletics program and local organizations. Through the athletics department Machalova has engaged in the Adopt-A-Basket program every year. Through this program Ole Miss donates Thanksgiving baskets every year to families in need throughout the Lafayette-Oxford-University Community (LOU). For Halloween she participated in the annual Trunk or Treat event for families in the LOU community. Machalova has made an extraordinary effort to positively impact the education system in the community. She has volunteered at the Oxford Elementary Car Drop, welcoming students to school by opening doors and waving to them to start their day. By participating in the Feed the Sip program she helped collect non-perishable food items to donate to elementary schools in Tunica and Quitman County. By taking part in the College Football Playoff Extra Yard for Teachers, Machalova celebrated teachers in the LOU community. She also collected books and bears to donate in the annual Books and Bears collection. Machalova engaged in a Hope to Dream in which she helped surprise 50 children in the Mississippi area with an entire bed set provided by Ashley Homestore. She also took part in the Night to Shine by celebrating guests with special needs during an unforgettable prom night.

Chloé Cirotte • Mississippi State

Sophomore • Orléans, France

Chloé Cirotte participated in Hit and Giggle, which is where the Bulldogs Tennis Club comes out to hit with the team. She had also volunteered twice with our Bag a Bulldog. She was also a part of the Women’s History Month Tabling. Lastly, she was a part of Lunch with a Bulldog, which is where elementary students were on the MSU campus and student-athletes met with them to have lunch with them and interact with them.

Elys Ventura • Missouri

Junior • Aukland, New Zealand

Elys Ventura has become an active member of the Columbia community despite not being from the area. She immediately took an interest in giving back to others, with her most important role being the team captain for the team’s chosen philanthropy this season, Girls On The Run (GOTR). Ventura dedicated 22 hours to the organization, leading team efforts to inspire confidence and an active lifestyle in young girls. While most of Ventura’s time was spent with GOTR, she found additional volunteer opportunities to diversify her experience. She spent time at a local Columbia public school, meeting students for a fun “lunch hang out” and committed four hours to writing MLK senior cards. Combined with other City of Columbia opportunities, Ventura volunteered 28.5 hours of her time to giving back to the Columbia community this season. With Ventura’s help, the Mizzou tennis team volunteered 50 hours of service with GOTR.

Kendall Couch • South Carolina

Junior • Columbia, S.C.

Kendall Couch has amassed 22 hours of community service this year and has 37.5 hours total in her time as a Gamecock. As a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Couch has volunteered with multiple events both on and off campus. She donated school supplies for the Welcome Back Event at the beginning of the year that were distributed to schools in the Columbia area. She also read books to children via Zoom and assisted with a local afterschool program for kids. At St. Lawrence Place, an organization part of Homelessness No More which helps homeless families in the Columbia area, Couch helped move supplies into their new facility. She also donated items to the Athletics Fall Basket Drive and participated in the Turkey Drive to hand out turkeys to Columbia residents around Thanksgiving. On campus, she assisted with an Honors College event and recently coordinated the Dodie Cafeteria & Staff Luncheon that celebrated and thanked the staff members with a catered meal. She also participated in this past fall’s USTA Kids Day in which she ran drills with local kids who play tennis.

Kylie Duckworth • Tennessee

Senior • Martinez, Ga.

Kylie Duckworth has given a massive portion of her time at Tennessee giving back to the Knoxville community, logging over 135 hours of community service. Duckworth spent over 28 and a half hours volunteering with Amedisys Hospice in her final year on Rocky Top. She spent another five hours volunteering at the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley and also worked with the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission. Duckworth recorded 42 and a half total hours of community service during the 2021-22 school year and always looked for ways to make a difference in the community. This season, she served as Co-President of Tennessee’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, organizing meetings, professional development seminars and service projects for the student-athletes at UT. Her service to the University community also showed in her advisory role on campus as she worked with Provost John Zomchick in developing the university’s strategic plan moving forward. She also discussed various student affairs programs in that role. Duckworth was also co-captain of the team and has been admitted into three different medical schools as of right now.

Jayci Goldsmith • Texas A&M

Senior • Dripping Springs, Texas

Jayci Goldsmith has taken an active role in the Bryan-College Station community over the course of the past year as a champion for women and children’s causes. The senior served as a spokeswoman for the annual AggiesCAN initiative to collect non-perishable food items and monetary donations to benefit the Brazos Valley Food Bank and the 12th Can, a student-run food pantry dedicated to serving students, faculty and staff facing food scarcity. Goldsmith volunteered at College Station ISD elementary schools and spent time reading with local students as a part of the REVved up to Read campaign. Additionally, Goldsmith has taken part in National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebrations throughout Aggieland, most recently spending time with children at the Brazos Valley Boys and Girls Club. Her dedication to sharing the value of athletics and her encouragement of young women across the Bryan-College Station community has been a key part of her outreach over the past academic year. In addition to her stellar performances on the court, Goldsmith’s leadership in Aggieland has had a significant impact of hundreds of local community members.

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