ITA Announces 2015 Division I National Award Winners
SKILLMAN, NJ (May 19) - The ITA has announced its national award winners for Division I men's and women's tennis. The award winners are listed below, followed by a description of each winner's accomplishments.
Men's Award Winners:
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: David Roditi, Texas Christian University
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Howard Endelman, Columbia University
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Søren Hess-Olesen, University of Texas
ITA Rookie Player of the Year: Noah Rubin, Wake Forest University
ITA Player to Watch: Andrew Harris, University of Oklahoma
ITA Most Improved Senior of the Year: Jonny Wang, University of Southern California
ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award: Mitchell Frank, University of Virginia
ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award: Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, University of Louisville
Women's Award Winners:
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Geoff Macdonald, Vanderbilt University
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Aleke Tsoubanos, Vanderbilt University
ITA Player to Watch: Stephanie Wagner, University of Miami (FL)
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Robin Anderson, UCLA
ITA Rookie Player of the Year: Brooke Austin, University of Florida
ITA Most Improved Senior of the Year: Julia Jones, University of Mississippi
Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship: Lindsey Kayati, Rutgers University
ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award: Lorraine Guillermo, Pepperdine University
Men's award winners:
David Roditi, the 2015 Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year, led TCU to its fourth NCAA Tournament Final Four in school history this year, after beginning this season ranked No. 37 in the ITA National Team Rankings. TCU has risen all the way to No. 6 in the latest poll. In the fall, Roditi's players swept the USTA/ITA Texas Regional Championships, then started the spring season by knocking off then-No. 10 Texas A&M at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend and qualifying for the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship. Roditi's team won 11 of its final 13 matches to finish 25-8 on the season.
Howard Endelman, the 2015 ITA Assistant Coach of the Year, has guided Columbia to several program firsts during his five years with the team. Columbia has made back-to-back trips to the NCAA Round of 16 for the first in school history, and prior to last season Columbia had never won a match at the NCAA Team Championships. During the 2013-14 season, Columbia's top doubles pairing of Max Schnur and Ashok Narayana claimed the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Doubles Championship for the first national title in program history. Endelman was named the ITA Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2013, and the team has compiled a 38-8 record over the past two seasons.
Mitchell Frank, the 2015 ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award winner, is a two-time champion of the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championship and was 2011 champion of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Singles Championship. He also clinched the NCAA Team Championship for Virginia in 2013. Frank earned the No. 1 spot in the ITA National Singles Rankings several times during his career and has posted a 98-12 career record to date. The senior captain is two-time ITA All-American, a four-time All-ACC honoree, a CoSIDA 1st Team Academic All-District honoree and was named the 2014 ACC Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, the 2015 ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award winner, captured the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Singles Championship in the fall and vaulted from No. 110 in the ITA National Singles Rankings all the way to No. 1 in the country. He went 40-6 in singles play and 23-13 in doubles this season. The Louisville senior's 40 wins are a single-season program record, and he is a four-time all-conference first team selection. He will participate in the NCAA Singles Championship as the No. 5 seed. Stiefelmeyer graduates with a 3.81 GPA and served as the vice president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, teaching tennis to underprivileged communities and speaking at high schools about culture shock.
Women's award winners:
Geoff Macdonald, the 2015 Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year, reached several milestones this season. In his 21st season at Vanderbilt, Macdonald picked up his 400th win, led the team to its first ever SEC Tournament Championship, was voted SEC Coach of the Year by his peers and will play for the NCAA Team Championship later today. The team achieved a program-best No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament this year and upset top-seeded USC on Monday. On his home courts, Macdonald's team posted its second straight undefeated record and is currently riding a 21-match home win streak. Two of Macdonald's players made the All-SEC First Team this year, while two more received Second Team honors and a fifth made the freshman team.
Aleke Tsoubanos, the 2015 ITA Assistant Coach of the Year, is in her eighth year of coaching her alma mater Vanderbilt and helped the team reach new heights this season, winning its first ever SEC Tournament title and achieving a program-best No. 4 seed at the NCAA team tournament. The team also posted a trifecta of wins over perennial contender Florida, including a win in the NCAA Quarterfinals to reach team's first Final Four bid since 2004. Vanderbilt followed up that win by upsetting top-seeded USC, 4-0, to advance to the championship match. Tsoubanos is a gifted doubles coach who works tirelessly with each player on the team, honing their skills and teaching doubles tactics in a fun, lively, and memorable way.
Brooke Austin, the 2015 ITA Rookie Player of the Year, has had a fantastic start to her career, winning over 50 combined singles and doubles matches while playing first singles and first doubles for Florida. She made an instant impact nationally during the fall when she won the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional doubles crown and reached the singles semifinals of both the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships and the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Austin was named the SEC Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year, becoming just the second freshman to win both awards in the same season. She has maintained a Top 10 ITA National Ranking all season long in both singles and doubles and is currently ranked in the Top 6 of each.
Stephanie Wagner, the 2015 ITA Player to Watch, is currently ranked in the Top 20 nationally in singles and doubles. A three-time All-ACC selection, she posted a 14-4 dual matches singles record in 2015 and fared well against top competition, scoring nine wins over nationally ranked opponents. The junior at Miami was a singles semifinalist at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in the fall and led the Hurricanes with a 3-0 record during ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Wagner also posted an undefeated conference doubles record during the spring.
Robin Anderson, the 2015 ITA Senior Player of the Year, is a six-time ITA All-American who has been ranked No. 1 in the ITA National Singles and Doubles Rankings throughout her career. She has posted a 23-2 singles record as a senior and was champion of the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships in the fall. In her career, Anderson has also won the USTA/ITA Southwest Regional Singles and Doubles Championships, the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Singles Championship, and was UCLA's MVP during its 2014 NCAA Championship season. The team captain has registered over 200 combined win during her collegiate career, with a singles record of 123-14 and a 99-36 mark in doubles. Anderson will leave UCLA as one of the most accomplished tennis players of all time.
Julia Jones, the 2015 ITA Most Improved Senior of the Year, played played both No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles for Ole Miss this season and posted a 29-10 record in singles, adding 11 wins in doubles to record 40 combined wins for the year. A team captain, Jones is a three-time All-SEC honoree and was named First Team All-SEC for the first time as a senior. She is also a three-time ITA Scholar-Athlete and an SEC Academic Honor Roll member. In the fall, she won the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Singles Championship and in the spring became the seventh member of her school's 100-wins club. After finishing last season ranked No. 100 in the ITA National Singles Rankings, Jones is currently ranked No. 10 in the ITA National Singles Rankings.
Lindsey Kayati, the 2015 Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship winner, began her freshman season as the No. 7 player in Rutgers' lineup and just finished her junior season playing primarily second singles. Her steady rise in the lineup has come while facing a diagnosis of epilepsy. She never used her diagnosis as an excuse but instead focuses on the positive in every situation, inspiring her teammates with her work ethic and competitive nature on the court. In the classroom, Kayati is a Dean's List student, and she is active in community service projects around the community. She soon hopes to join the Epilepsy Foundation's Athletes vs. Epilepsy initiative as an athletic ambassador. Kayati's commitment to her teammates and to the welfare of athletes with her condition epitomizes the spirit of this award.
Lorraine Guillermo, the 2015 ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award winner, is the most accomplished on the court at Pepperdine in more than two decades. This year she became the first Pepperdine player to earn a Top 16 seed at the NCAA Singles Championship since 1990. Guillermo is a three-time First-Team All-Conference singles honoree and a four-time honoree in doubles. The team captain and the lone senior on the roster, she led Pepperdine to a fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance this year. Off the court, she is involved with her school's Student Athlete Advisory Committee, volunteers at a Children's Hunger Fund and clothing drives and leads student Convocation and Bible studies. Guillermo was recently honored by her university with the Maurice Hilliard Award, which recognizes a student for their character, living a life of purpose and commitment to Christian Faith.
For a full list of NCAA Division I Regional award winners, click here.
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of varsity collegiate tennis players. The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men's and women's varsity coaches and 20,000 student-athletes from over 1,200 institutions, has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership, sportsmanship and athletic performance. Awards are given to both men and women, on the Regional and National levels to all Divisions represented within the ITA (NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, and Community and Junior Colleges). The ITA annually recognizes over 3,000 student-athletes on an individual and team basis from over 500 different varsity tennis programs. More than 300 coaches participate in the award selection process, serving on Regional and/or National selection committees. For more information on the ITA Awards program, please visit http://www.itatennis.com/AboutITA/AbouttheITA.htm.