ITA Announces NAIA National Award Winners
SKILLMAN, N.J. - The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) has announced its 2009 national award winners for NAIA men's and women's tennis. Highlighting this year's awards are the Wilson/ITA National Coaches of the Year: John Norton of Concordia University-CA (men) and Clay Hightower of Berry College (women).
2009 Men’s Award Winners:
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year – John Norton, Concordia University-CA
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year - J.J. Bogusewski, Savannah College of Art & Design
ITA Senior Player of the Year - Carlos Bes, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
ITA Rookie Player of the Year – Thomas Van Cauter, Oklahoma Christian University
ITA Player to Watch – Alex Gonzalez, Fresno Pacific University
ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship - Jonathan Berhane, Lewis-Clark State University
2009 Women’s Award Winners:
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year - Clay Hightower, Berry College
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year - Art Wilmore, Point Loma Nazarene University
ITA Senior Player of the Year – Hana Jurcovicova, Vanguard University
ITA Rookie Player of the Year – Jennifer Sher, Concordia University-CA
ITA Player to Watch – Kristin Strimple, Point Loma Nazarene University
ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship – Sara Allison Winters, Martin Methodist College
Norton has led the Concordia University, Irvine men's team to a record season just four years after helping bring collegiate tennis back to Concordia after a 15-year absence. After leading the Eagles to No. 8 national ranking in 2008, Norton’s team has had an even stronger year in 2009. Concordia has earned a No. 5 ranking with a record of 16-5, posting 12 wins over ranked opponents, including a 5-4 win over second-ranked Cal Baptist to close out the regular season. The Eagles have qualified for the NAIA Championships, where they advanced to the quarterfinals last year, finishing the season with a 15-8 record.
Hightower has led the Berry College women's tennis team to a No. 3 ranking this season. The Vikings went 13-3 overall this year, with two losses coming at the hands of NAIA national powerhouse Auburn University-Montgomery. Berry advanced to the Southern States Athletic Conference Championship for the fourth year in a row. The Vikings have qualified for the NAIA Championships, where they advanced to the quarterfinals last year as the seventh seed, finishing the season with a 17-7 record.
The NAIA Championships will be held May 12-16, 2009 in Mobile, AL. Matches will be played at host Mobile Tennis Center.
For a full list of NAIA Regional award winners, visit www.itatennis.com.
As the governing body of collegiate tennis the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which was founded in 1956 and is based in Skillman, N.J., administers numerous regional and national championships, the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit presented by the USTA, and the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings for men's and women's tennis at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA website is www.itatennis.com.