UF Women’s Tennis: Zein Earns SEC Community Service Team Honors
Courtesy of University Athletic Association
BY SAM STOLTE
Women’s tennis junior honored by Southeastern Conference for second straight year
Florida women’s tennis junior Marlee Zein has been named to the SEC Community Service Team, the league office announced Thursday.
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. The SEC began this concept with a football Community Service Team in 1994.
The junior has played a pivotal role in the Black Student-Athlete Council at UF, volunteered at UF Health and Keep Alachua County Beautiful, and carried out initiatives with the Gators Read and Gators Move programs.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, volunteers were not allowed to visit patients in the pediatric unit weekly as in years past, so Zein and other student-athletes crafted encouraging and uplifting posters and signs. As part of the Gators Read and Gators Move programs, Zein created two videos for students in virtual classes. The Texas native read children’s stories on video in order to connect with students all over the country and demonstrated elementary exercises.
Thursday marks Zein’s second SEC Community Service Team designation as she also collected the honor in 2020.
Zein helped organize the team’s outing with the Keep Alachua County Beautiful organization when they helped restore and clean up a local park. Serving as a voice for the women’s tennis team on the Black Student-Athlete Council, Zein is a liaison between the Black student-athlete population at UF and the administration.
Zein has registered a cumulative 3.62 GPA and is pursuing a major in Health Education and Behavior with a concentration in Pre-professional Health Studies.
In 2016 before joining the Gators, Zein was one of 30 players in the country named to the first-ever USTA Junior Leadership Team, which recognizes America’s finest junior tennis players who exhibit leadership, sportsmanship, and character on and off the court.
Zein and the Gators, who finished the regular season on a seven-match winning streak and 10-3 in SEC play, return to action next Wednesday at the SEC Tournament in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Florida has earned the No. 2 seed, and its opponent is to be determined as regular season matches remain across the league.
The Texas native has put together an impressive junior season with the Gators, recording a 10-7 record in dual match singles and a 9-5 mark in dual match doubles. Competing primarily at Florida’s No. 2 singles position, Zein rose to as high as No. 36 in the ITA rankings and sits at No. 44 in the final regular season issue. Zein and teammate McCartney Kessler are the fourth-ranked doubles duo in the nation.