TEMPE, Ariz. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced its 2018 JUCO Women’s National Award winners on Monday, May 7, 2018. The student-athletes were recognized at the 2018 Junior College Women’s National Championships in Waco, Texas.
Wilson ITA Coach of the Year: Steven Dunmore, American River College
Dunmore’s team has amassed a record of 11-1 thus far in 2018. His team won the Big 8 North women's conference this season. Dunmore is highly respected in the Nor Cal community college tennis community for his team’s quality of play and sportsmanship. He is a gentleman to all coaches and teams he plays.
tasc Performance ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Simon Bardell, Meridian Community College
Bardell volunteered with the program for four semesters before coming on board in the Spring of 2017 as a paid assistant. He has proven invaluable to the team. He is responsible for all court workouts. The men's team won its region for the third straight season and the women have been the runner-up for two seasons and won it the season before. He works untiringly with the players to help them achieve their goals.
ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award: Rachel Sollie, Meridian Community College
This season, Sollie has played No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles. She finishes her career 27-21 in singles and 22-21 in doubles. Sollie has played all season with back and shoulder pain but with the help of sports medicine hung in there and finished the season. Sollie is a member and officer of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society of two-year institutions and is Vice President of Service. Her chapter was named Most Distinguished Chapter in 2018. She is a member of Phil Harden Honors College and received an Honors College Scholarship. She was a nominee for the H. M. Ivy Scholarship and the Circle of Excellence which will be awarded at graduation. She was a NJCAA First Time All-Academic winner in 2017 and is currently holding a 4.0. She was a 2017 ITA Scholar Athlete recipient. Sollie has been on the President's List all four semesters. She has been a part of Hurricane Harvey and Irma Relief through MCC's Campus Life Organization. She was a volunteer for Read Across America at Crestwood Elementary, a city of Meridian Volunteer teaching tennis, helped collect goods in September for the MCC Single Parent/Displaced Homemaker Food Pantry, helped plan and work with PTK and the tennis team at Street Strut for Breast Cancer, "My College Cares volunteer, Voter Registration Drive Volunteer, Special Olympics Bowling Volunteer in Nov., and has volunteered with Aldersgate Retirement Community. She also is active in the Baptist Student Union, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and, of course, the Meridian CC Tennis Team.
ITA Rookie of the Year: Tamara Arnold, Tyler Junior College
Arnold has a 25-3 record in singles and 16-4 in doubles. Won the singles and doubles JUCO titles at the 2017 ITA Oracle Cup in the fall. Ranked No. 1 in both singles and doubles in the fall Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis National rankings.
ITA Player to Watch: Valentina Gonzalez, Seminole State College
Gonzalez has had a very impressive freshman campaign, going 25-6 in singles and 24-9 in doubles. She won the 2017 ITA Regional Singles title, as well as teamed with partner Mariam Mujawimana to win the ITA Doubles title. She has been ranked as high as No. 7 in the country in singles, as as high as No. 4 in the country in doubles this season.
ITA Most Improved Sophomore: Lisa Khamassi, ASA College Miami
Khamassi had a 16-4 record in 2017 at mainly No. 5 singles, losing in the finals of the No. 5 flight. In 2018, she’s 16-11 after stepping up to the No. 1 singles position. She also carries a 20-5 mark in 2018 at the No. 1 flight in doubles and won the regional tournament. Khamassi is currently ranked No. 7 in singles and No. 3 in doubles.
Sophomore Player of the Year: Yuliana Monroy, Eastern Florida State College
Monroy’s record in singles was 18-4 for the year. She won Flight No. 1 singles in Florida becoming All-State in Junior College. She was 11-8 in doubles. Her current singles ranking nationally No. 3 and No. 7 in doubles. Monroy is leader on and off the court. She received all A's this past semester and made the Honor Roll.
Community Service & Outreach Award: Meridian Community College
Meridian CC women have logged many hours of community service this year. They have volunteered with Street Strut for Breast Cancer in October. They were volunteers for the Run for Hope run. Run for Hope is a fundraiser for the local orphanage in Meridian sponsored by Sela Ward. The orphanage is called Hope Village. The team spent three Fridays in November working with Special Olympics bowling at their local bowling alley. The girls volunteered at a fundraiser with the Church of the Mediator who was raising funds to contribute to all of the agencies served through United Way in Meridian and Lauderdale County. There is an entire day of community service through the college called "My College Cares". The women’s tennis team cleaned grounds and striped the parking lots of Collinsville United Methodist Church. They participated in Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief through donations and collected donations for the Meridian Community College food pantry. They also participated in Read Across America at a local elementary school, Crestwood.