Tennis News Wire -
ITA Announces 2012 NCAA Division I National Award Winners
ATHENS, Ga. - The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced the national award winners for NCAA Division I tennis today during a ceremony on the campus of the University of Georgia, in conjunction with the NCAA Division I Team Championships.
This year's ITA national award winners are:
2012 Men's Award Winners:
*Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year - TBD
ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year - George Husack, USC
ITA/Farnsworth National Senior Player of the Year - Steve Johnson, USC
ITA National Rookie of the Year - Mitchell Frank, University of Virginia
ITA National Player to Watch - Sebastian Fanselow, Pepperdine University
ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship - Ryan Thacher, Stanford University
ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award - Daniel Nguyen, USC and Eric Quigley, University of Kentucky
2012 Women's Award Winners:
Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year - Stella Sampras Webster, UCLA
ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year - Rance Brown, UCLA
ITA National Senior Player of the Year - Jana Juricova, University of California
ITA National Co-Rookie of the Year - Robin Anderson, UCLA and Beatrice Capra, Duke University
ITA National Player to Watch - Zoe Scandalis, USC
ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship - Caroline Newman, College of Charleston
ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship - Aeriel Ellis, University of Texas
*Please note that the Wilson/ITA National Men's Coach of the Year will be selected and announced after the completion of the 2012 NCAA Division I Team Championships.
Stella Sampras Webster, the 2012 Wilson/ITA National Women's Coach of the Year, coached the UCLA Bruins to its first ever NCAA Women's Tennis National Championship in 2008, but this season she may have more to be proud of than what her squad accomplished that year. UCLA claimed its first ever ITA Women's Team Indoor Championship in program history. Her team has also been ranked No. 1 in the Campbell/ITA Division I Team Rankings for a school-record eight straight weeks. The Bruins also went into Palo Alto and ended Stanford's 157-match home winning streak. All of these feats have been accomplished with just two seniors on the team. Along with an emphasis on success, she also demands integrity and sportsmanship from every one of her players.
In just his third season with the Trojans, George Husack, the 2012 ITA National Men's Assistant Coach of the Year, has helped USC remain the team to beat in men's college tennis. Despite winning three-consecutive NCAA Team Championships, the Trojans did not enter the tournament as the overall number one seed, which they did this season. This has been a season of firsts for USC, as they claimed the program's first ITA Men's Team Indoor Championship title in Charlottesville in February, along with the inaugural Pac-12 Men's Team Tournament title. This year's squad features two outstanding seniors, but several underclassmen have also made a number of contributions throughout the season.
Rance Brown, the 2012 ITA National Women's Assistant Coach of the Year, has played an integral role in helping the UCLA program to one of its best seasons in its storied history. The Bruins have put together a tremendous season with four freshmen in the singles lineup. Rance has done an incredible job of coaching these new players to get the most of out their abilities while adapting to the college game. He coaches courts four, five, and six during dual matches, helping two of the freshmen reach the 20-win plateau in dual singles competition. He also dedicates time to teach the fundamentals of tennis to children in the community.
Steve Johnson, the 2012 ITA National Men's Senior Player of the Year, took over the top spot in the Campbell/ITA Division I Men's Singles Rankings heading into the NCAA Championships. Serving as this year's team captain for the top-ranked Trojans, he is unbeaten on the year in singles action. He entered the NCAA Championships with a 60-match overall singles match winning streak, including winning 56-straight dual singles matches. Johnson was named Pac-12 Player of the Year for the second straight season earlier this spring. He is a four-time Pac-12 First Team honoree along with being named an ITA All-American seven times in his career. He has also helped his team to three consecutive NCAA Men's Team Championships.
Currently in the top 15 in both singles and doubles of the Campbell/ITA Division I Women's Rankings, Jana Juricova, the 2012 ITA National Women's Senior Player of the Year, is closing out a stellar four years in Berkeley. The Golden Bear senior experienced one of the best seasons in the history of college tennis in her junior year, winning the 2011 NCAA Singles Championship en route to being named both the Campbell/ITA National Player of the Year and 2011 Honda Sports Award Winner. She is also a three-time singles and two-time doubles ITA All-American honoree. Juricova made an impact on college tennis immediately, teaming up with Mari Andersson to claim the 2009 NCAA Doubles Championship. She also became the first ever USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Singles Champion in program history. Known as the Bear for her fierce competitive spirit on court, Juricova has amassed more the 150 singles victories and nearly 140 doubles victories in her career.
Mitchell Frank, the 2012 ITA National Men's Rookie of the Year, entered the spring ranked first in the Campbell/ITA Division I Men's Singles Rankings following his undefeated fall campaign. He won two ITA national tournaments in the fall, the ITA Men's All-American Championships and the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. He has posted over 30 victories in singles against just one loss. Frank was voted the ACC Freshman of the Year along with earning All-ACC honors.
Robin Anderson, the 2012 ITA National Women's Co-Rookie Player of the Year, entered the NCAA Championships ranked in the top 10 in both singles and doubles in the Campbell/ITA Division I Women's Rankings. She helped the Bruins claim the ITA Division I Women's Team Indoor Championship in February, the first in program history. This year's squad also went into Stanford and snapped the Cardinal's 157-match home winning streak, a match in which Anderson was victorious in both singles and doubles. She has wins over several current top 10 players while playing at the first singles position for UCLA. Though only a freshman, she has competed with great poise and sportsmanship in a number of high-pressure situations.
Beatrice Capra, the 2012 ITA National Women's Co-Rookie Player of the Year, is currently
ranked second in singles and 17th in doubles in the most recent Campbell/ITA Division I Women's Rankings. She has put together a solid freshman campaign in helping the Duke Blue Devils to a top-five national ranking all spring. Capra also had a very successful fall, winning the consolation singles title at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships while also reaching the quarterfinals of the ITA/Riveria Women's All-American Championships. She also represented the USA on the BNP Paribas Master'U team, helping the squad win the title by defeating host country France in the finals.
Helping lead his team to a top-10 ranking, Sebastian Fanselow, the 2012 ITA National Men's Player to Watch, has consistently been one of the best singles players in the nation this spring. He has an impressive 24-3 record in dual matches, including 20-2 at the top singles position. He is currently ranked eighth in the Campbell/ITA Division I Men's Singles Rankings.
Another tremendous freshman from the Pac-12 Conference, Zoe Scandalis, the 2012 ITA Women's Player to Watch, has been one of the top players in the nation in singles the entire season, currently ranked 14th in the Campbell/ITA Division I Women's Singles Rankings. She has played at the first singles position for the entire season, collecting over 30 wins for the Women of Troy. She had a tremendous fall, playing her way through both the pre-qualifying and qualifying draws of the ITA/Riviera Women's All-American Championships to advance to the main draw of the prestigious event. This year's Freeman Memorial Singles Champion, Scandalis was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on January 23.
A two-year captain for the Stanford Cardinal, Ryan Thacher, the 2012 Men's ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship honoree, has helped lead the team through several ups and downs in his four years. He has had tremendous success on the court, reaching the NCAA Doubles Semifinals in 2010 and the NCAA Finals in 2011. He has also been named an ITA All-American twice in his career, along with earning All Pac-12 First Team honors on three occasions. Thacher has recorded at least 20 singles victories in each of his four seasons with the Cardinal. While not the most vocal leader in the history of Stanford tennis, his leadership is second to none. He leads by example, always showing his opponents and officials respect no matter the situation he is in. Thacher has an impressive 3.917 GPA with a major in history, demonstrating a tremendous focus to balance athletics and academics. He has also worked with the East Palo Alto Tennis & Tutorial Program, a program that brings local kids in to be tutored by Stanford students. Thacher plans to attend medical school to become a pediatric surgeon or trauma specialist after playing tennis professionally.
Collecting more than 80 singles wins and 70 doubles victories, Caroline Newman, the 2012 Women's ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship winner, was just as successful in serving as the captain of this year's Cougar squad as she has been at winning matches. In her four years in the Charleston program, the team has claimed four Southern Conference titles, put together an overall record of 90-28, and won an impressive 49 of 51 Southern Conference matches. Caroline is given much of the credit for all of these accomplishments thanks to her devotion to her teammates and her ability to energize the team through her leadership. In her sophomore season, she helped the women's tennis team be named the College of Charleston Cougar Champs, which goes to the top athletic team in the school's athletic department based on academics, athletic success, personal development, career development, and community service. Newman is equally devoted to academics as she is tennis, carrying a 4.0 GPA with a major in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience; she is also a member of the honors college. She has been a part of the inner city tennis program for the past three years, helping introduce tennis to economically challenged children. Caroline has also served as a coach for the Win4Life program the past two years, helping mentor upcoming players. With dreams of becoming a doctor, she traveled to South Africa last summer to participate in a program which sponsored medical clinics for individuals in extreme rural areas, helping over 100 patients daily.
Aeriel Ellis, the 2012 ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship, has been a program-changer for Texas since she stepped foot onto campus in 2009. She took on the pressure of playing at the first singles spot for one of the top programs in the country, never letting her quiet and humble demeanor be influenced by the hardships she faced. Her dedication and determination have not only allowed her to improve from one season to the next, but have also allowed her to become a true leader and positive influence for her team. She is a three-time qualifier for the ITA/Riviera Women's All-American Championships as well as the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Her freshman year she was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and qualified for the NCAA Singles Championships. Aeriel also earned ITA All-American honors last season. Last summer, she discovered her mother had been diagnosed with bone cancer, prompting her to spend the summer in California caring for her mother. She returned to Texas in the fall to pursue her degree and helped her team to another solid season while playing with such a tremendous burden. Tragically, Aeriel's mother passed away on March 25, 2012. The bond the Texas Longhorns squad has formed around Aeriel is a true testament to her open and honest nature, as well as her positive disposition. She is truly the epitome of resiliency.
Daniel Nguyen, one of two honorees for the 2012 ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award, has been a symbol of leadership and sportsmanship in his four years in the Trojans program. This year alone he has amassed more than 20 dual victories in both singles and doubles. He was a member of the BNP Paribas Master'U team, which claimed the title with a dramatic victory over France in the championship match. Nguyen has been just as dedicated in the classroom, maintaining a 3.5 GPA in communications, which included being a member of the Dean's List in 2010. He has been a very active member around the USC campus, serving on the USC Trojan Athletic Senate for the past three years. Nguyen has also generously devoted his time to a number of community service projects. He participated in the Harper for Kids 32nd Street School tennis event, teaching clinics to promote health and well-being. Last year he joined the USC Joint Educational Project, where he became a teaching assistant at Manual Arts Senior High School, teaching Geology and the science of human performance.
Eric Quigley, the other player to be named a 2012 ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award winner, served as the co-captain of the Kentucky Wildcats this season, helping lead the team to an undefeated regular season in the SEC for the first time in program history. In his four years as a Wildcat, Kentucky has never finished the year outside of the top 15 of the Campbell/ITA Division I Men's Team Rankings. Quigley became the winningest player in Kentucky tennis history earlier this spring. He has had his most successful season this year, breaking the school record for most singles wins in a season. Head coach Dennis Emery credits Quigley with changing the tennis culture in Lexington from a winning culture to a championship culture. This season he had the most community service hours of any player on his team, earning a spot on the SEC Community Service Team. He was also awarded the Men's Sportsmanship Award at the 2011 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Quigley is not only known for his exceptional focus and incredible composure, but also for competing with the highest level of class. In his four years he has never had a confrontation with an official or opposing coach.
For a full list of NCAA Division I Regional award winners, visit http://www.itatennis.com/AwardsAndRankings/Archives.htm.