As a freshman four years ago, Maria Martinez-Romero admits she was often frightened to take the court. But she never played scared. The Nules, Spain, native capped her career in April by being named the Southland Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Year. She completed the 2012 season 10–1 in conference play at the No. 1 singles position.
“I didn’t expect it at all because there are very good players out there,” says Martinez-Romero, who led the Mavericks to two SLC championships and two runner-up finishes. “I learned to play for a team and not for myself anymore. I started liking it even more than just playing for myself.” She completed her UT Arlington career with a 73–13 singles record and had 42 conference wins against only two losses. She went undefeated as a freshman and a junior, posting 11–0 records both seasons, and lost only one match in each of her sophomore and senior seasons.
Martinez-Romero also excels in the classroom. She is on track to graduate in December with a double major in broadcasting and Spanish and was named the SLC’s Student-Athlete of the Year for women’s tennis.