The College of New Jersey senior Karisse Bendijo, a 2009 Egg Harbor Township graduate, was selected the New Jersey Athletic Conference women’s tennis player of the year Wednesday for the third straight season.

This season, she went unbeaten at first singles in conference play, winning each match in straight sets. It was the third consecutive season she’s done so.

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Overall, Bendijo, a two-time Press Player of the Year, was 10-3 in singles play and 12-1 at first doubles with partner Paige Aiello.

The duo also was named to the all-conference team.

Rutgers-Camden freshman Amanda Hickman, a 2012 Millville graduate, was named the NJAC Rookie of the Year. The first-team Press All-Star went 5-1 in conference play at first singles and was 15-3 overall.

For Richard Stockton College, Bendijo’s older sister and EHT graduate, Krystle Bendijo earned All-NJAC honors in singles and doubles. It was her second straight time being recognized for doubles and first time for singles. The junior posted five wins at first singles. Bendijo paired at first doubles with fellow junior Laura Church for five wins.

Phil Birnbaum, Stockton’s coach and program founder, was named NJAC coach of the year for the second time in his career. He led the Ospreys to a 9-1 mark and 5-1 in the conference. Birnbaum also received the honor in 2003.


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