ITA Announces 2014 NAIA National Award Winners
SKILLMAN, NJ (May 12) - The ITA has announced its 2014 national award winners for NAIA men's and women's tennis. The award winners are listed below, followed by a brief description of each winner's accomplishments.
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Chase Hodges, Georgia Gwinnett College
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Bruno Santarelli, Concordia University, Irvine
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Aaron Hendrick, Aquinas College
ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship: Sonam Phuntsok, Lewis-Clark State College
2014 Women's Award Winners:
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Patrick Grashorn, Davenport University
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Ashley Hendrick, Davenport University
ITA Player to Watch: Anastasiya Baranova, Oklahoma Baptist University
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Theresa Schmaus, Savannah College of Art and Design
ITA Rookie Player of the Year: Nour Abbes, Xavier University of Louisiana
ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award: Dominika Jasova, Brenau University
Men's award winners:
Chase Hodges, the 2014 Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year, has led the Georgia Gwinnett College men's tennis team an undefeated record this season, and they hold a win over then No. 2 Armstrong Atlantic of NCAA Division II. The Grizzlies are currently the number three ranked team in the NAIA in just its second year as a tennis program. Hodges, who has led seven different tennis programs to a national ranking, holds a record of 25-1 over two seasons with the Grizzlies.
Bruno Santarelli, the 2014 ITA Assistant Coach of the Year, helped the Concordia University, Irvine team to great successes this season in his first year as an assistant coach. With Santarelli's assistance, the Eagles beat a Top 5 nationally ranked team and reached the finals of the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament. He is hard working, well-respected and humble and is a great example of sportsmanship and conduct to his players. Santarelli works with No Limitz Tennis - Talk about Curing Autism) on a weekly basis and is a great role model for the team.
Aaron Hendrick, the 2014 ITA Senior Player of the Year, started freshman year at Aquinas College by breaking the school record for single season wins in both singles and doubles. Throughout his four-year career he has maintained Top 20 singles and Top 10 doubles national. An ITA All-American in both 2012 and 2013, Hendrick helped lead the team to a program best No. 8 national ranking, and this year the team has been ranked in the Top 10 all season. He won the 2013 USTA/ITA Midwest Regional singles title and is known to be competitive but fair sport who represents his team and school in the highest manner.
Daniel Mora, the 2014 ITA Rookie Player of the Year, led the Warner University Royals to a program-best 12-1 record during the 2014 regular season. Mora held a perfect 11-0 singles record until the last week of the season. In the Royals' match with NAIA No. 1 Embry-Riddle University, Mora had to retire in the first set due to an arm injury that sent him to the emergency room. Two days later, Mora returned to the court against SCAD-Savannah, wearing a cast halfway up his forearm, and won his singles match 6-0, 6-0. In his seven conference singles matches, Mora won five of them while surrendering a maximum of one game.
Stefan Kilchhofer, the 2014 ITA Player to Watch, is 43-0 this year at the No. 1 position during two years of regular season matches for Vanguard University. He was an ITA All-American in both singles and doubles in 2013, and this year boasts an impressive 46-1 overall record for the Lions. He's currently ranked No. 2 in the national NAIA singles rankings, and No. 6 in doubles with partner Daymon Johnson. In addition to his on-court successes, he has a 3.85 GPA.
Sonam Phuntsok, the 2014 ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship Winner, became the first person from his family to attend college when he started at Lewis-Clark State College in 2012. In just two seasons with his team, Phuntsok has become a team leader whose tennis game has improved a great deal. He channels his energy not only to tennis and academics, but also to acting and community service, always volunteering when presented with the opportunity. He's been part of team efforts such as tennis clinics for elementary school classes and fundraising for the local YWCA and also volunteers with the local Salvation Army. Phuntsok balances all these activities with a 3.23 cumulative GPA, and received the Warrior Athletic Association Academic Achievement Award for student-athletes who have a 3.00 GPA or better.
Women's award winners:
Patrick Grashorn, the 2014 Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year, has led his Davenport University team to a strong 19-4 season this year. In his four years at Davenport, he's amassed at 71-33 coaching record. Last year, Davenport finished the year ranked No. 22 in the nation and they are currently No. 17. Grashorn's passion for the game and his program is evident, and his players are deemed fierce competitors who are respectful in their sportsmanship. The 2013 ITA Men's East Regional Coach of the Year, Grashorn has put great emphasis on community service, and helped raise money for inner-city tennis by holding tournaments.
Ashley Hendrick, the 2014 ITA Assistant Coach of the Year, contributes greatly to the success of the Davenport Universityteam and is well respected both by the team and in the tennis community. Her positive attitude helps keep players focused in the toughest of situations. Hendrick helped coach her team to its highest national ranking in school history (No. 17), a win over the highest ranked team they have beaten in school history (No. 16), and through one of the toughest schedules (more than five nationally-ranked teams) in the university's short five-year history.
Anastasiya Baranova, the 2014 ITA Player to Watch, has lost just one match this season at Oklahoma Baptist University playing at first singles and doubles. A 2013 ITA All-American, Baranova has scored wins over tough opponents from Embry-Riddle and SCAD this season. She's a team player who consistently cheers on her teammates and encourages them to work harder in matches and practices. She's currently ranked No. 4 in the ITA NAIA Singles Rankings, and No. 3 in doubles with partnerKateryna Shkot.
Theresa Schmaus, the 2014 ITA Senior Player of the Year, was the top-ranked player in the ITA NAIA Singles Rankings from November 2013 to April 2014 for the Savannah College of Art and Design. A 2012 and 2013 ITA All-American, Schmaus won the 2013 USTA/ITA Florida Regional Championships and was the NAIA singles champion at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, winning a thrilling third set tiebreaker over Jade Curtis of Auburn Montgomery in the final. She's 12-2 this spring and her only two losses were in third set tiebreakers.
Nour Abbes, the 2014 ITA Rookie Player of the Year, made a fast impression during her first season at Xavier University of Louisiana. She is undefeated in singles this spring, going 13-0 and 11-2 in doubles. She is the highest ranked singles player in Xavier women's history at No. 2 in the most recent ITA NAIA Singles Rankings. She has also been ranked as high as No. 15 in doubles, and has six singles wins and four doubles wins over Division I players this year.
Dominika Jasova, the 2014 ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award, has shined academically and athletically during her three years at Brenau University. She is a 2013 ITA All-American in singles, and is currently ranked No. 7 in the ITA NAIA Singles Rankings, and No. 4 in doubles. She was the 2013 ITA Player to Watch and has an overall singles record of 52-24. Jasova is regarded as someone who leads by example and helps her teammates handle tough situations, both on and off the court. In addition to her 3.43 cumulative GPA, Jasova has been heavily involved in community service, spending her time on causes such as the Boys and Girls Club of Hall County, Habitat for Humanity, Hispanic Heritage and Rally for the Cure.
For a full list of NAIA Regional award winners, click here.
About the ITA Awards program:
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of varsity collegiate tennis players. The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men's and women's varsity coaches and 20,000 student-athletes from over 1,200 institutions, has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership, sportsmanship and athletic performance. Awards are given to both men and women, on the Regional and National levels to all Divisions represented within the ITA (NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, and Community and Junior Colleges). The ITA annually recognizes over 3,000 student-athletes on an individual and team basis from over 500 different varsity tennis programs. More than 300 coaches participate in the award selection process, serving on Regional and/or National selection committees. For more information on the ITA Awards program, please visit http://www.itatennis.com/