ITA Announces 2012 NAIA National Award Winners
SKILLMAN, N.J. - The ITA has announced its 2012 national award winners for NAIA men's and women's tennis. The national award winners are listed below, followed by a brief bio of each winner’s accomplishments.
2012 Men's Award Winners:
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year – Frederick Christian Miller, Oklahoma Christian University
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year – Steve Rose, Aquinas College
ITA Senior Player of the Year – Bruno Santarelli, Concordia University, Irvine
ITA Rookie Player of the Year – Nicolas Pinones-Haltenhoff, Auburn University at Montgomery
ITA Player to Watch – Jochem Hoefnagels, Azusa Pacific University
ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship – David Spennare, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
2012 Women's Award Winners:
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year - Dave Paschal, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year – Victor Mesquita, Robert Morris University
ITA Senior Player of the Year – Gabriela Bergmanova, Vanguard University
ITA Rookie Player of the Year – Tiffany William, Auburn University at Montgomery
ITA Player to Watch – Lucie Sipkova, Oklahoma Christian University
ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship – Jordan Kimura, Concordia University, Irvine
Despite facing one of the toughest schedules in the country, Frederick Christian Miller, the 2012 Wilson/ITA Men's Coach of the Year, helped lead his team to a 16-3 record heading into the NAIA Men's National Tennis Championship. His team is ranked third in the most recent NAIA Men's Tennis Coaches Top 25 poll. All six of his singles players are ranked in the top 50 of the most recent Campbell/ITA NAIA Men's Singles Rankings, while all three of his doubles pairs also hold a current national ranking. Miller also promotes good sportsmanship by ensuring that each visiting team has a positive experience at his facility. He has also been very active in the community, giving free lessons and donating tennis equipment to local schools and charities.
Serving as an unpaid assistant coach for his university, Steve Rose, the 2012 ITA Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year, first joined the Aquinas program when his son became a member of the team. After his son completed his senior season, the impact Rose made on the program was so tremendous, he was offered the position of assistant coach. He is known as a supportive and encouraging force around the program, and is considered to be truly invaluable to both the team’s success and morale each year.
Serving as the team captain for his squad this season, Bruno Santarelli, the 2012 ITA Men’s Senior Player of the Year, has been an instrumental part of his team’s success. He has improved greatly from just a season ago, working his way into the top 15 of the Campbell/ITA NAIA Men’s Singles Rankings with wins over the current eighth and eleventh-ranked players in the nation. He also has three wins over top 15 doubles pairs. His positive motivation as the team captain has had as much to do with the team’s victories as his singles and doubles victories.
Nicolas Pinones-Haltenhoff, the 2012 ITA Men’s Rookie Player of the Year, has helped his team to a top-five national ranking and a berth in the 2012 NAIA Men’s Tennis National Championship. Playing at the top singles position for his team, he has collected three wins over top-10 NAIA foes, plus a win over current Division II top-15 opponent Willi Wolfer of Lynn. He was named First Team All-Conference by the SSAC, in addition to being the SSAC Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year. He is currently ranked No. 7 in the latest Campbell/ITA NAIA Men’s Singles Rankings.
Having one of the most dominant seasons in program history, Jochem Hoefnagels, the 2012 ITA Men’s Player to Watch, has put together an unblemished singles campaign at 20-0 entering this year’s NAIA Men’s Tennis National Championship. He has been almost equally as dominant in doubles, currently ranked in the top five of the Campbell/ITA NAIA Men’s Doubles Rankings. He was named the NAIA National Player of the Week on April 4.
David Spennare, the 2012 Men’s ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship honoree, has represented his team well as a person, student, and player. Having never done community service before arriving to the United States, he now volunteers his time with a number of different projects, from Habitat for Humanity to helping run clinics for underprivileged children. He is also a member of the Student Athlete Leadership Team, helping further grow his leadership skills both on and off the court. Spennare has been recognized with numerous awards already in his career, including being an ITA Scholar athlete last season and being honored with the NAIA Champions of Character Award. He currently hold a 3.92 GPA while majoring in business.
Helping lead his team to the best season in program history, Dave Paschal, the 2012 Wilson/ITA Women’s Coach of the Year, was named the Sun Conference Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year. His team is currently third in the nation, earning wins over three different NCAA Division I programs. This year’s Embry-Riddle squad has also pitched in more than 200 hours of community service, while being very accomplished in the classroom with an overall team GPA of 3.3.
Victor Mesquita, the 2012 ITA Women's Assistant Coach of the Year, has done an outstanding job with player development of players on his squad, helping guide Robert Morris to its best record in program history and first ever conference championship. The team collected wins over NCAA Division I and Division II opponents on its way to earning an NAIA national ranking. Along with his coaching achievements, he has also placed an emphasis on raising funds for the Chicago Shriners Hospital for Children.
Helping lead her team in any way she can, Gabriela Bergmanova, the 2012 ITA Women’s Senior Player of the Year, has consistently put the team’s goals ahead of her own, even before being named captain this season. She has played at the top singles and doubles positions for Vanguard for the past three years. She ended the 2010 season in the top five in both singles and doubles of the Campbell/ITA NAIA Women’s Rankings. She currently sits at No. 2 nationally in the rankings with a record of 21-1. She has earned multiple conference and national awards throughout her career, from GSAC Player of the Year to NAIA All-American.
Playing mostly at the third singles position for the top-ranked team in NAIA this season, Tiffany William, the 2012 ITA Women’s Rookie Player of the Year, has reached the 20-win plateau. She is ranked in the top 15 in both the Campbell/ITA NAIA Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles Rankings. She also was part of a very successful doubles duo which owns a win over Division II powerhouse Armstrong Atlantic. William was also named First Team All-Conference by the SSAC.
Lucie Sipkova, the 2012 ITA Women’s Player to Watch, has been a solid player for her team over the past two seasons, amassing more than 35 wins in both singles and doubles. She has a current top-15 singles ranking and top-five doubles ranking in the latest Campbell/ITA NAIA Women’s Rankings. She reached the final of the USTA/ITA Regional Championship in singles and took home the Regional Championship doubles crown with her partner. They also went on to capture the NAIA Women’s Doubles draw at the 2011 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships.
A strong leader who also excels athletically and academically, Jordan Kimura, the 2012 Women’s ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship winner, also finds time to run her own graphic design company. Through her company she founded Project Joy, a venture which donates funds raised to children with Down Syndrome and Autism. As a player, Kimura leads by example, never missing a practice in her four years on the squad. She is a four-time all conference selection and three-time NAIA All-American, along with being a two-time NAIA Champion or Character honoree and ITA Scholar Athlete. She is an active member of her school’s Student-Athletic Advisory Committee and chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership organization. Qualifying for the Dean’s List every semester of her career, Kimura finished with a GPA of 3.91.
For a full list of NAIA Regional award winners, visit www.itatennis.com/AwardsAndRankings/Archives.htm.
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men's and women's varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 20,000 college varsity student-athletes 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 web site is www.itatennis.com.