In terms of accolades, women’s tennis player Estela Perez-Somarriba has more than you can count on two hands. The fifth year senior won the NCAA singles title in 2019, broke the UM record for most single victories this past January with 141 wins, is a two-time ACC player of the year and four-time All-American. Perez-Somarriba, a native of Spain, was the recipient of the prestigious 2019 Honda Sports Award, an award given to the best collegiate women’s tennis player. After her chance at defending her 2019 NCAA title was cut short due to Covid-19, Perez-Somarriba made the decision to stay at Miami for a fifth year with the hopes of winning another singles title.
“It was a challenging decision, but I’m really attached to UM and finishing my college career the way I always dreamt of it important to me,” she said in a statement.
Perez-Somarriba graduated with a 3.928 GPA and a degree in economics in May and will work towards her masters in sports administration on an ACC Postgraduate Scholarship as one of just 50 ACC students awarded that scholarship.
Miami’s quarterback struggles will hopefully be non-existent this season with the arrival D’Eriq King, a graduate transfer from the University of Houston, who will be at the helm of the Miami offense as the team’s starting quarterback. At Houston, King had 78 total touchdowns, 4,925 passing yards and 1,421 rushing yards despite starting in just 22 games. King had a remarkable 2018 season at Houston, where he recorded 50 total touchdowns, 14 of which were rushing, threw for 2,982 yards and ran for 674 yards.
“What he did two years ago at Houston has not been done very often in college football history,” Miami head coach Manny Diaz said in February.
Like Perez-Somarriba, track and field star Michelle Atherley missed out on her chance to defend her 2019 NCAA Women’s Pentathlon Championship because of the pandemic. Originally from North Port, Florida, Atherley has had success on the track since the moment she began competing as a Hurricane. In the 2019 indoor season alone, Atherley was a USTFCCCA Indoor All-American First Team, ACC Women’s Field Performer of the Year, 2019 ACC Indoor Field MVP and the 2019 ACC Indoor Pentathlon Champion. Most recently she competed for Team USA at the Thorpe Cup in Germany last summer, in what was her first, but most definitely not her last, international meet. Prior to the pandemic, Atherley was training for the 2020 Olympics, where she hoped to qualify. Atherley will earn her Master of Public Administration at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
Short in stature, but large in presence, Chris Lykes is the floor general for the Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team. Standing at 5’7, Lykes is just about as quick as point guards come and uses his speed as his offensive weapon. The senior has proven how effectively he can score the basketball, whether it be a perimeter shot, a floater in the paint, or a hard take to the basket. In the 2019-2020 season, Lykes led Miami in scoring (15.4ppg), assists (2.4) and steals (1.1). The Maryland native has developed into the leader of the Hurricanes and will look to bring his team back into a winning record after a disappointing 16-16 (7-13 ACC) record. Lykes is a sports administration major with a minor in marketing.