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2015 ITA Award Winners Announced
ITA Announces 2015 Junior and Community Colleges National Women's Award Winners

 

SKILLMAN, NJ (May 2) - The ITA has announced its 2015 national award winners for Junior and Community Colleges women's tennis. The national winners are listed below, followed by a brief description of each winner's accomplishments. 

 

Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year - Deo Sy, Glendale Community College

ITA Assistant Coach of the Year - Brent Krivokapich, Tyler Junior College

ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship - Cassidy McWhorter, Eastern Arizona College

ITA Sophomore Player of the Year - Joanna Savva, Tyler Junior College

ITA Most Improved Player of the Year - Taylor White, Meridian Community College

ITA Player to Watch - Megane Bianco, ASA College

ITA Rookie of the Year - Macarena Olivares, ASA College

Deo Sy, the 2015 Women's Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year, led his team to the 2015 Western State Conference Championship with a record of 15-2, after finishing the previous season 12-4. Not only has the level of play improved among his players, but opposing coaches were also impressed by how respectful and fair the players were in the midst of competition. Most recently, Sy helped his team reach the finals of the Southern California Regional Championship, falling to eventual state champion Mt. San Antonio College. His top doubles team also reached the quarterfinals of the CCCAA Women's Tennis Doubles Championship.

Brent Kriovakapich, the 2015 ITA Women's Assistant Coach of the Year, is in his third season of coaching at Tyler Junior College. He helped the team claim a fourth-straight NJCAA team championship in 2013 and a runner-up finish in 2014. This year's squad is currently ranked second in the ITA JuCo National Team Rankings and enters the NJCAA National Tennis Championships as the Region 14 champions. He brings great energy and attitude to practices and matches, along with being a tremendous help in the weight room. His professionalism and preparation are top notch, along with his motivational skills. Krivokapich also teaches adult and junior lessons after team practices.

 

Cassidy McWhorter, the 2015 ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship winner, is a tremendous leader with a strong work ethic and the determination to be a positive influence to those around her. She is a fair and honest competitor who always respects her teammates and opponents. She has adopted a serious sense of responsibility to care for and help others however she can. McWhorter has been devoted her time to volunteering for the Special Olympics, the Gooter Event to benefit the Steven M. Gooter Foundation for Sudden Cardiac Death, running a 5K for Cystic Fibrosis, giving tennis lessons to children, and numerous humanitarian efforts sponsored by the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints. She credits each of these service opportunities with making her a stronger and happier person who sees the value and worth of individuals.

 

Joanna Savva, the 2015 ITA Women's Sophomore Player of the Year, won the singles and doubles titles at the USTA/ITA Southwest Region Championships this fall. She went on to dominate the competition at the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, winning both the singles and doubles draws without dropping a set. She played an outstanding match in her first match of the Super Bowl draw, falling to the eventual champion 7-5 in the third set. Savva has continued her high level of play throughout the season, and is currently ranked second in the nation in singles and third in doubles. She is one of the captains on her team, leading with both her excellent play and competitive spirit.

 

Taylor White, the 2015 ITA Most Improved Player of the Year, has been a pleasant surprise for her coach and team this season. She played sixth in the lineup a year ago, but moved up to fourth this year while remaining competitive. In the most recent regional rankings released by the ITA, she was ranked No. 23 in the region, the first time in her career she earned a regional ranking. Her coach says she has never seen a player improve so much in just two years, as she not only improved fundamentally but strategically as well. White was also forced to overcome adversity by playing through back injuries.

 

Megane Bianco, the 2015 ITA Player to Watch, has been a top ten player in both the ITA JuCo National Singles and Doubles Rankings all season. She is currently ranked ninth nationally in singles and first in doubles while playing for the top-ranked JuCo team in the country. She owns singles victories over two NCAA Division I and four NCAA Division II opponents this spring. Bianco also owns a 10-4 doubles record in dual matches, playing at the top doubles position for her team in every match. Her coach describes her as an unselfish player who pushes her teammates to get the most out of each practice.

 

Macarena Olivares, the 2015 ITA Rookie Player of the Year, currently sits atop the ITA JuCo National Singles and Doubles Rankings along with helping her team remain the No.1 team in the nation for the entire season. She has compiled a 9-3 singles record this spring, winning six sets by a score of 6-0. Among her victories are wins over NCAA Division I squads Bryant, Buffalo, Duquesne, and Louisiana Tech. In total, seven of her nine singles victories have come against NCAA Division I and Division II opponents. Olivares is also 11-3 in doubles on the season. She has displayed an unbelievable will to win since stepping on campus, and she now has her sights set on helping her team defend its national championship.

Click here for a full list of Junior and Community College Women's Regional award winners.

 

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/AboutITA/AbouttheITA.htm.