Inducted February 6, 1999
Sofie Bjorling was a four-year tennis standout for SMS from 1982 to 1985. A native of Bromma, Sweden, she compiled a career singles record of 75-29, playing primarily in the number one or number two singles positions. As a freshman in 1982, Bjorling played for coach Belmar Gunderson and competed in the NCAA Division II championship in Greeley, Colo. She advanced to the quarterfinal round before dropping a three-set decision to the eventual national champion, Cheri Dow of William and Mary. Bjorling also teamed with Kay Johansen in doubles competition at the national event. SMS placed 15th in the team standings and was the AIAW Region 6 runner-up. Bjorling’s final 25-2 singles record remains the best one-year log in SMS women’s tennis history. As a sophomore in 1983, Bjorling had a 10-5 singles record and was 5-6 in doubles. It was the first tennis season for SMS in NCAA Division I and as a member of the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference. Bjorling advanced to the finals of the first conference tournament in number one singles, led the team to a dual record of 5-4 and recorded a fifth-place GCAC tournament finish. The 1984 season saw SMS facing a significantly upgraded schedule as Viki McHugh took over as tennis coach and took her charges against such established Division I programs as Kansas, Arkansas, Tulane, Wichita State, Arkansas State and Oral Roberts. In her junior year, Bjorling continued to be a force at the top of the SMS lineup despite the increased challenge in level of competition. She went 10-7 in singles play and teamed with three different doubles partners to forge a 7-7 record. She again reached the championship match at the Gateway tournament, helping the Lady Bears to a fourth-place finish and a team dual record of 6-7. As a senior, Bjorling led SMS to a 10-3 dual record and a third place finish in the Gateway Conference Championship. Bjorling advanced to the title match in the Gateway tournament for the third straight season and her 10-4 singles record and 12-4 doubles mark capped her outstanding tennis career at SMS. Bjorling graduated from SMS in 1985 and subsequently earned a doctorate.