TEMPE, Ariz. - The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the 2018 ITA Division III National Award winners on Thursday, May 24, 2018.
Wilson ITA Coach of the Year – Jay Tee, University of Chicago
The 2018 season was a memorable one for the University of Chicago men’s tennis team, as they won their first-ever UAA Championship. The Maroons were ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation this season and reached the semifinals of the 2018 NCAA Division III National Tennis Championships, as well as the semifinals of the 2018 ITA Division III National Men’s Team Indoor Championship.
tasc Performance ITA Assistant Coach of the Year – Kris Powell, University of Chicago
Kris Powell has been the men's and women's assistant at The University of Chicago for the past four seasons and 2017-18 has been one of the best years in school history. The men won their first UAA Championship in school history and have been ranked as high as No. 3 in the country. Meanwhile, the women made the finals of the UAA tournament for the second year in a row, have spent the entire season ranked in the Top 10, and are currently ranked No. 1 in the Central Region. Powell’s position is classified as "part-time" but he puts in full-time work throughout the season, with 6 a.m. practices, heavy travel schedule, recruiting duties, etc. Head coach Jay Tee said: “I cannot think of a more deserving and selfless person and coach than Kris Powell.”
ITA Rookie of the Year – Jed Kronenberg, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
Kronenberg ended the fall season ranked No. 17 in the nation in singles. He reached the singles final of the 2017 ITA West Regional Championship. Kronenberg was also runner-up in the Ojai Valley Tournament. He holds a 25-7 overall record in singles and was named the 2018 SIAC Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-SIAC.
ITA Player to Watch – Bernardo Neves, Washington University in St. Louis
Neves has been a consistent performer for the Bears, with a 49-13 overall record in 2017-18. He’s 28-4 in singles, including 21-1 in dual matches, with three ranked wins. Neves has also compiled a 21-9 doubles record, including 16-6 at No. 2 doubles.
ITA Most Improved Senior – Spencer Watanabe, George Fox University
Serving as team captain this season for George Fox, Watanabe won the 2017 ITA Northwest Regional singles championship and qualified for the 2017 ITA Oracle Cup in the process. He was a semifinalist at the Ojai tournament and currently holds the No. 16 national singles ranking.
ITA Senior Player of the Year – Mohanad Alhouni, Gustavus Adolphus College
The No. 1-ranked player in the nation, Alhouni won the 2017 ITA Oracle Cup Division III singles championship, earning him a spot in the 2017 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. His career singles record to date is 106-29, while his doubles mark is 98-32. He’s currently ranked No. 6 in doubles. A three-time ITA Regional singles champion, Alhouni is also a four-time NCAA Singles Qualifier and a three-time NCAA Doubles Qualifier. He’s a three-time ITA All-American in singles and a two-time All-American in doubles. The Gusties’ team captain, Alhouni is a four-time All-MIAC honoree and an ITA Scholar-Athlete.
ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award – Brady Anderson, Coe College
Anderson has a career record of 205-60 and holds the Coe record for career wins. He was a 2017 ITA All-American and is a two-time NCAA Singles Qualifier and an Academic All-American.
From Coe College Head Coach Eric Rodgers: “Brady stands as the epitome of a Scholar-Athlete. Accomplished in both the classroom and on a tennis court, Brady serves as an example of what one can accomplish in life through lessons learned on a tennis court. An excellent competitor, Brady first progressed in tennis by playing, then later added technical instruction. This gave him a much more flexible growth mindset; a willingness to adapt. Brady always served as a Team Leader from Day 1, and advanced yearly in his leadership skills; transforming from leading by example to leading by words, even when said words to teammates were difficult to deliver. In all aspects of his life he applies himself, totally immersed with the desire to learn, to improve and become the very best he is capable of becoming. Like many Americans, Brady entered college as "outcome-oriented", but now revels in the process or journey. he certainly is poised to move on to the next phase in his life. He will be successful. I am proud and honored to submit Brady's name for the 2018 ITA Arthur Ashe, Jr Award.”
Wilson ITA Coach of the Year – Carol Matsuzaki, MIT
Matsuzaki is in her 20th year at MIT as head women's tennis coach. She led MIT to one of its strongest seasons in recent years. MIT is currently ranked No. 11 nationally and No. 6 in the Northeast. MIT had big wins this year over No. 14 Bowdoin, No. 15 Washington & Lee, and No. 16 Case Western Reserve. The MIT team has won eight conference championships under Carol’s leadership. The MIT team always displays the best in sportsmanship throughout and after each match. Matsuzaki focuses on developing each person within her respective role on the team, and she has a way of keeping her players calm under pressure.
tasc Performance ITA Assistant Coach of the Year – Alvin Cheng, Kenyon College
Cheng spent six seasons as the assistant coach at Kenyon College. The team’s gradual incline up the rankings was a direct result of Cheng’s work. Last year the team won the conference championship for the first time since 2001, and they repeated as champions this year with an unblemished conference record. Kenyon holds a No. 22 national ranking, the team’s highest position since 2001.
ITA Rookie of the Year – Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico, Emory University
Gonzalez-Rico made an immediate impact on the Emory lineup, holding down the No. 1 singles position. She was the Singles and Doubles Winner of the 2017 ITA Atlantic-South Regional Championship, which qualified her for the 2017 ITA Oracle Cup. There, she finished runner-up in the Division III singles and doubles draws. She’s currently ranked No. 2 in the nation in both singles and doubles, and has a 25-5 record in singles and 24-5 mark in doubles.
ITA Player to Watch – Camille Smukler, Amherst College
Smukler is currently ranked No. 4 in the Northeast region and No. 10 in the national rankings. Smukler's freshman year she was 11-11 at No. 1 singles, ranked 10th in the nation and played in the Individual Championships. Her first year at Amherst she got to the quarterfinals of the Northeast ITA Regional. This year Smukler has a record of 22-8. She has wins over the number one players from Middlebury, MIT, Bowdoin, Emory and Pomona-Pitzer to name a few. In the fall she reached the finals of the Northeast ITA Regional.
ITA Most Improved Senior – Sarah Hughes, Oberlin College
Hughes played No. 1 for Oberlin in doubles all four years and was regionally ranked each year with many different partners. Her 68 career doubles wins put her second all-time in Oberlin history and all but a couple came at the No. 1 position. In singles, she worked through knee and ankle injuries and went from the No. 4 position to the top of the lineup the past two years. Hughes won the ITA Central Region Player to Watch award in 2017. Through it all, she's also had to deal with almost a complete loss of her hearing that has of course been tough on her on many levels. She has to wear hearing aids on both ears now and her hearing has deteriorated each year. She's also been on the All-NCAC selection each of her four years. She's a pre-med/biology major with a 3.75 GPA. She's volunteered with the Math Fractions Club and was VP of the Oberlin Chapter of Colleges against Cancer and an active member of Project Unbound.
ITA Senior Player of the Year – Eudice Chong, Wesleyan University
Chong is currently playing in the 2018 NCAA Division III National Singles Championship, as she looks to secure an unprecedented fourth-straight NCAA singles championship. Her career win-loss total to date is 192-17. Chong has been named the NESCAC Player of the Year multiple times and is a four-time ITA All-American. She won the Division III singles and doubles championships at the 2017 ITA Oracle Cup to qualify for the 2017 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. She and doubles partner Yictoria Yu (winners of the 2017 NCAA Division III Doubles National Championship) would go on to reach the quarterfinals of that event, scoring victories over Division I competition from North Carolina and Kentucky. In addition, Chong serves on the Wesleyan Leadership Committee of Student Athletes of Color, the Leadership Committee of Mabuhay (Annual Pan-Asian Culture Show). She volunteers weekly at local Assisted Living facility.
ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award – Tess Trinka, Bowdoin College
Trinka served as team captain for Bowdoin for the 2017-18 season. She was the Bowdoin representative for NCAA Woman of the Year, winner of Francis Micciche Sr. Award - given to one senior in ALL the senior class for leadership.
From head coach Paul Holbach:
"I will first talk about Tess and her accomplishments in the classroom and in the community. Tess currently has a GPA of 3.722 with a biology major and a minor in music. She is a Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholar recipient. Her long-range plans are to be a physician.
"Tess has been in the forefront of a student-led co-ed a cappella group for her four years. She has performed at numerous Bowdoin concerts as well as other college campuses and places in the community. Her group even ventured to Boston to make a disc recording at a recording studio. She has also sung the national anthem at Bowdoin football, hockey and basketball games.
"For the past two years Tess has been a member of Res Life. She has been a first-year proctor which means she lives on a first-year floor and guiding first year students throughout the year. She plans around 10 programs throughout the year to foster a healthy environment for first-year students. She also oversees the Res Life staff this year as Head Proctor so she is having additional meetings with other stuff members and is educating them on leadership skills and making sure that the other proctors and RAs are doing their job as well. She is also in charge of planning and directing these weekly meetings with the other staff members. Having had numerous conversations with other proctors and first-year students I can honestly say that EVERYONE knows and respects Tess for her role in Res Life. I certainly feel that Whitney Hogan would say the same thing.
"Tess has also done some remarkable “outside” things to benefit the community of the world. Summertime was definitely not a time for Tess to lay around and chill. Tess has made the world a better place by some of these activities.
"After her first year she spent the summer at the Hephzibah Children’s Hospital in Illinois. She supervised and was in charge of 40-50 elementary school children in an after-school day care program. She was in charge of developing the programs for the children. She also joined the Atlantis Project Fellowship in Ponferrada, Spain, where she shadowed physicians in the Hospital del Madrid Bierzo.
"Her past two years she worked at the Esperanza Health Center in Chicago. Most of this work was with underprivileged families who were mostly of the Spanish speaking community. Tess developed an extraordinary project called “Prescription To Ride.” Working in collaboration with a local non-profit bike shop called Working Bikes she developed this project which doctors at Esperanza could “prescribe” a bike to patients they felt would benefit from having a bike. She also developed and directed three community bike rides where participants could go home with a new bike, helmet and lock.
Last summer she also worked at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago as a Smith Child Health Research Center student intern. Here she assisted working with the youth of Chicago, particularly working with community on ways to decrease violence in the area.
"I also want to mention what I personally consider her greatest off court accomplishment. She has helped create a tennis tournament in Chicago called the Mary Diaz and William Copeland Jr. Memorial Tournament. The tournament has over 140 participants to raise money for pancreatic cancer awareness. With the help of Tess and her family, the tournament has raised over $625,000 for the Mary Diaz Pancreatic Cancer Fund. This tournament is for all levels. Many former Bowdoin Alums; both tennis players and non-tennis players have ventured up for the event in support. Knowing Tess as I do, I know this is her favorite part of every summer. It combines her love for tennis, family and helping those in need."