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Maryland tennis signee Ayana Akli named All-Met Player of the Year

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

Maryland tennis incoming freshman Ayana Akli was named the 2019 Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year on Tuesday to wrap up her high school career.

Akli, the No. 21 recruit in the country according to Babolat, hasn’t lost a match since her sophomore season at Wheaton High School. She won her third straight state championship on May 25 with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Bowie’s Maya Spencer. In addition to earning the region’s highest honor on Tuesday, she’s also won three consecutive Player of the Year awards.

After playing 12 professional matches in the ITF Juniors division (3-3 record in singles matches, 2-4 in doubles), Akli is currently ranked No. 632 in the world, rising as high as 547th back in January. That includes two then-top-100 wins, but she hasn’t competed professionally since October 2018.

A unanimous five-star recruit, Akli signed her National Letter of Intent on Nov. 13, joining then-head coach Daria Panova’s 2019 recruiting class. After seven seasons in charge of the program, Panova’s contract was not renewed following a 3-18 record. The next head coach of Maryland tennis has yet to be decided, and Katie Dougherty is currently the interim. But no matter who takes the reins, they’ll have a terrific player to begin anew with.

Other Maryland signees on the All-Met teams:

  • Michael Bouma (baseball, first team)
  • Campbell Kline and Taylor Liguori (softball, first team)
  • Danny Maltz (boys’ lacrosse, second team)
  • Shay Ahearn and Victoria Hensh (girls’ lacrosse, first team)

In other news

As part of our State of the Program series, Justin dove into the oft-struggling women’s soccer program.

It’s quarterbacks week as our football preview coverage gets underway, and I profiled Tyler DeSue, the 2019 Red-White Game MVP.

The Testudo Times Podcast was back in action on Wednesday, as Thomas and Lamar joined Matt to recap DeAndre Haynes’ hire, Shaq Smith’s transfer and more.

Former Terp defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has 29.5 sacks over his first three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he’ll be holding out during this year’s camp.