MOBILE, Ala. - Remy Caffardo, a senior at Graceland University and Alida Muller-Wehlau, also a senior at Armstrong Atlantic State University, were presented with the 2010 James O' Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Awards presented by Rolex Watch USA Saturday at the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships.
The James O' Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Awards go to players who display outstanding sportsmanship and exemplify the spirit of college tennis during the course of the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships hosted by the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile.
The award is given in memory of Jim Sargent, former Media Manager for Rolex Watch USA, who was involved in a fatal car accident in 2000. He was a great friend of college tennis, an ITA All-American who competed with outstanding success and sportsmanship at Lynchburg College, and afterwards continued as a special partner to the ITA in his role with Rolex.
In addition to displaying outstanding sportsmanship, Caffardo, who hails from Romans, France and Muller-Wehlau, from Flensburg, Germany, also had strong performances this week.
Caffardo lived up to the lofty expectations of being the No. 1 seed in the NAIA men's singles draw, making it all the way to today's finals match, eventually dropping a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 decision to third-seeded Kirill Sinitysyn of Fresno Pacific.
Caffardo entered the tournament as the top seed for the third consecutive year, where twice he has now come up just short in a three-set finals match.
Muller-Wehlau, also entered the tournament with high expectations, seeded No. 3 in doubles and No. 2 in singles, after finishing the 2010 season No. 3 in the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings. Whatever expectations she did have most certainly were surpassed as she has starred more than any other participant thus far.
Muller-Wehlau, the ITA Division II Player to Watch, has already captured both the singles and doubles titles by knocking off No. 1 Yuan Jia of BYU-Hawaii in singles and Jia and her partner, Elwen Li, in the doubles final to become the fourth ITA DII doubles champion in program history and the first since Laura Nhavene and Hiskia van der Leij in 1996.
Muller-Wehlau and partner, Barbora Krtickova will take on the Univ. of Chicago duo of Higgins and Hu, the DIII champions, later today while Kristin Lim of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps will be Alida's opponent in the Super Bowl singles match preceding the doubles match.