Birmingham, Ala. - The 2020 SEC tennis Scholar-Athletes of the Year were announced today by the conference office. Alabama's Edson Ortiz and Ole Miss' Simon Junk share the men's award, while the Crimson Tide's Alba Cortina Pou was honored for the women.
Ortiz finished the season as the No. 74 singles player in the country while playing at the No. 1 spot for the Crimson Tide. The senior ended his 2020 campaign with four singles wins over nationally ranked opponents, while compiling a 4-0 SEC mark in doubles competition at the No. 2 spot. Last season, Ortiz was named First Team All-SEC and the year before that, Second Team All-SEC.
Academically, Ortiz has excelled in the classroom while maintaining a 3.75 GPA, while majoring in Human Performance Exercise Science. The Chihuahua, Mexico, native has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in the previous two seasons, while also being named an ITA Scholar-Athlete twice. Additionally, Ortiz was tabbed to the 2018 SEC Community Service Team.
Junk started 2020 on fire, winning his first nine consecutive contests. The sophomore went 9-3 on the shortened spring and a team-best 16-6 overall. Junk played the hero during multiple matches this season for the Rebels, earning his first career clinch as Ole Miss upset then No. 12 Illinois in the ITA Kickoff, rallying to a thrilling three-set tiebreak (6-7(5), 6-1, 7-6(4)). His win helped catapult the Rebels to a Top 15 ITA ranking, their first appearance in the Top 15 since 2015.
Junk is an ITA Scholar Athlete, a member of the SEC and Chancellor's Honor Roll, and an avid volunteer around the Oxford/Lafayette community. The Marpingen, Germany, native had held a 3.93 GPA while majoring in accountancy and minoring in economics.
Cortina Pou finished the 2019-20 season with an impressive 17-6 singles record and 14-5 doubles mark. In dual match play, Cortina Pou began the year with an 11-0 singles record, while becoming the first player in program history to win Southeastern Conference Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks (Feb. 5 & 12). She ended the 2020 campaign with a team-best 13-2 dual match singles record and a team-best 14-3 doubles mark.
Academically, Cortina Pou has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA while double majoring in finance and marketing. She has been on the SEC Academic Honor Roll and named an ITA Scholar-Athlete each season in all three years with Alabama. In 2019, she was named the ITA Southern Region Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award Winner. In addition, she has been on the President's List (4.0 GPA) every semester while at Alabama and was named to the 2020 SEC Women's Tennis Community Service Team.