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DIII Awards Graphic-2016-05-25

TEMPE, Ariz.
– The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the 2016 Division III regional and national award winners on Wednesday, May 25, at the 2016 Division III NCAA Tennis Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Select coaches in the division comprised the regional and national awards committees.

NATIONAL AWARDS
WOMEN
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year:
Ann Lebedeff, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
Lebedeff returned to the coaching in 2016 following a two-year medical leave. Her return has helped push the Sagehens back up to the top of Division III, currently holding the No. 3 national ranking (they were No. 1 in March) and reaching the Round of 16 at the 2016 Division III NCAA Tennis Championships. In addition, Pomona-Pitzer won the 2016 ITA Division III National Women’s Team Indoor Championship. Lebedeff brings a confident and experienced demeanor to each and every day that she is out on the court, and her ability to serve as a mentor and role model to the team is inspiring to all those that come across her.

ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Byron Balkin, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Coach Balkin is in his second year as an assistant coach with the UW-Whitewater tennis program, and his impact is really being felt. In 2016, the team reached one of its highest rankings in program history, reaching No. 21 in the April 14, 2016 rankings. He’s helped lead the team to the Round of 16 each of the past two seasons, as well as four consecutive WIAC titles (UW-Whitewater has won nine straight overall). Balkin works continually on individual practice sessions during the season for those players that want to go above the call of duty and get one-on-one help with their game. He’s also started a video process, filming match play for the student-athletes and reviewing the footage with them. The extra care and work he is putting in makes our players want to perform at an even higher level.

ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Brooke Tsu, Carnegie Mellon University
Tsu earned the right to play at No. 1 singles in her senior campaign, after working her way up from the No. 5 position as a freshman, and hovering around the No.’s 3-5 positions her first three years at Carnegie Mellon. She’s 17-10 in 2016 at the No. 1 singles slot and 15-5 at No. 2 doubles. She’s shown mental toughness, clinching numerous matches for the team this year. Tsu’s ascension to the No. 1 position has enabled the team to overcome the loss of two graduating All-Americans and losing a third after the fall season.

ITA Senior Player of the Year: Lindsey Liles, Sewanee: The University of the South
Liles has posted records of 14-5 in singles and 23-3 in doubles in 2016, while helping guide Sewanee to as high as No. 10 in the Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis National Rankings. She’s currently ranked No. 5 in the Atlantic South Region in singles and No. 1 in doubles, along with partner Clementina Davila. Liles has a career record of 59-18 in singles and 84-19 in doubles. She’s currently serving as Sewanee’s team captain and has been voted team MVP three years in a row. A Benedict Scholar recipient (Sewanee’s highest merit award given to only three students), Liles received the Stephen Pucket Award for student leadership and the Elizabeth Marks Caldwell Award for leadership and scholarship. Liles has a 4.06 GPA with a double major in english and biology. She earned the 2015 Atlantic South ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Regional Award.

ITA Rookie of the Year: Caroline Casper, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
Began the 2016 season at the No. 2 position in both singles and doubles before moving up to No. 1 singles. She’s the No. 1-ranked singles player in West Region and No. 5 in doubles. In dual matches, Casper has a 14-1 singles record and a 17-2 record in all singles competitions, including the fall. In doubles, she’s 15-1 against Division III opponents and 20-4 overall.

ITA Player to Watch: Juli Raventos, Williams College
Raventos currently plays the No. 1 singles and doubles positions for No. 2 Williams College. As a freshman, she played No. 2 singles and doubles, until the quarterfinal round, when the team’s No. 1 player was unable to travel. Raventos stepped into the No. 1 role and never looked back, going 3-0 at the 2015 Division III NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship, and guiding the Ephs to the national title. She also went on to reach the semifinals of the NCAA individual championship that year. She displays humility, leadership and a tremendous competitive spirit.

ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Sarah Woods, Kalamazoo College
Woods has a career singles record of 83-14, and a doubles mark of 73-25. Her 156 total wins are second most in Kalamazoo College Women’s Tennis history, and would also rank fourth-best in the men’s record books. She’s served as team captain each of the past three seasons. A pre-med biology major, Woods has been able to balance a very difficult academic schedule with a demanding tennis schedule. Woods was the catalyst to change the culture of the tennis program; her leadership and dedication to the program has been relentless and very inspiring to her teammates. She’s a vocal leader when needed and led quietly by example when that’s been best. She has been active member of the student-led sexual assault group on campus, and has been a peer advocate for the last four years. Woods has worked hard to help others with very difficult situations.

MEN
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year:
Conor Smith, Bowdoin College
Smith has taken the Bowdoin program to another level in 2016, reaching as high as No. 2 in the national rankings, before settling into the No. 4 ranking. The Polar Bears are 17-3 on the season with wins over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Amherst and Williams, plus a runner-up finish at the New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship. They’ve reached the quarterfinal round of the 2016 Division III NCAA Tennis Championships. It’s the third time in program history the Polar Bears have advanced this far in the NCAA tournament.

ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Arik Zeevy, Stevens Institute of Technology
In his four years at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Zeevy has been an integral part of the program’s growth. The program has produced two ITA Regional champions, two All-Americans, achieved its first-ever national ranking and reached the Round of 16 at the NCAA tournament. After Zeevy’s first year, Stevens earned its first national ranking, finished the year at No. 25 and the team has stayed inside of the Top 40 ever since. Zeevy makes his biggest impact on the team’s culture, bringing in more positivity, fun and passion. He’s also been a stout recruiter, helping Stevens bring in four straight nationally-ranked recruiting classes.

ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Luke Trinka, Bowdoin College
Trinka sports a 13-5 record at the No. 2 singles position, as well as a 14-4 record at No. 1 doubles. He’s currently ranked No. 10 in the Northeast Region in singles and No. 1 in doubles with teammate Luke Tercek. Trinka began his career at Bowdoin not starting in either singles or doubles, but while he was unable to crack the singles lineup his freshman year, he did see time at the No. 3 doubles position. He never complained and continued to work on his game leading into his sophomore year. That sophomore year, Trinka won the ITA Regional Championship, defeating the No. 1 players from Williams, Bates, Tufts and Wesleyan along the way. He’s been a fixture at or near the top of the Bowdoin lineup since that point, and was named team captain for his senior year.

ITA Senior Player of the Year: Skyler Butts, Claremont McKenna College
Butts has been the No. 1-ranked player in the West Region in singles and doubles all season. He holds the career singles and doubles wins record at Claremont McKenna College. Thus far in 2016, he’s 29-6 at No. 1 singles and 30-7 at No. 1 doubles. In the fall, he finished third at the National Small College Championships. The team captain, Butts heads up all of the team’s community service efforts, including working at the Pomona homeless shelter and doing volunteer work with elementary school kids in Claremont.

ITA Rookie of the Year: Jonathan Jemison, Emory College
As a freshman, Jemison reached the finals of the ITA Atlantic South Regional Championships for both singles and doubles. He’s currently ranked No. 3 in the Atlantic South region in singles and No. 8 in doubles. Jemison has truly embraced being a part of the Emory team.

ITA Player to Watch: Luke Tercek, Bowdoin College
Playing at the No. 1 singles and doubles positions, Tercek has recorded an 18-5 singles record and 13-4 doubles mark. He reached the final at the 2015 fall ITA Regional tournament. He’s currently ranked No. 4 in the Northeast Region in singles and No. 1 in doubles, with teammate Luke Trinka.

ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Jake Humphreys, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
An accomplished player on the court with a career record of 77-33 in singles and 79-34 in doubles, Humphreys is a two-time NCAA singles All-American and two-time ITA All-American, and the most decorated player in UW-Whitewater men’s tennis history. He graduated in three-and-a-half years Cum Laude with a bachelor’s in accounting, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree. Humphreys has been honored as an ITA Scholar Athlete, Chancellor Scholar Athlete and named to the Dean’s List. A member of the UW-Whitewater’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Humphreys volunteers his time at a local tennis club and organized team fundraising activities. From preparation to academics to competing while respecting his opponent and treating his teammates with honor, Humphreys has done everything the right way.

REGIONAL AWARDS
WOMEN
Northeast Region
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year:
Mike Morgan, Middlebury College
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Justin DeSanto, Williams College
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Maya Hart, Williams College
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Ria Gerger, Middlebury College
ITA Rookie of the Year: Victoria Yu, Wesleyan University
ITA Player to Watch: Juli Raventos, Williams College
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Emily Laurilliard, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Atlantic South Region
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year:
Amy Bryant, Emory University
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Jordan Wylie, Emory University
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Brooke Tsu, Carnegie Mellon
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Lindsey Liles, Sewanee: The University of the South
ITA Rookie of the Year: Jamie Vizelman, Carnegie Mellon University
ITA Player to Watch: Bridget Harding, Emory University
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Abbey Hamstra, Carnegie Mellon University

Central Region
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year:
Mark Murphy, Kalamazoo College
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Byron Balkin, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Meg Chiumento, Denison University
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Sarah Woods, Kalamazoo College
ITA Rookie of the Year: Gabi Kitchell, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
ITA Player to Watch: Diana Aboubakare, Kenyon College
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Sarah Woods, Kalamazoo College

West Region
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year:
Ann Lebedeff, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Andrew Thomson, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Jenna Dobrin, Whitman College
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Natalie Etchegarary, University of Redlands
ITA Rookie of the Year: Caroline Casper, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
ITA Player to Watch: Maryann Zhao, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Sofia Vega, Texas Lutheran University

MEN
Central Region
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year:
Frank Barnes, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Byron Balkin, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Sam Geier, Kenyon College
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Sam Geier, Kenyon College
ITA Rookie of the Year: Kevin Brown, Denison University
ITA Player to Watch: Branden Metzler, Kalamazoo College
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Jake Humphreys, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Atlantic South Region
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year:
Andy Girard, Carnegie Mellon University
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Michael Belmonte, Carnegie Mellon University
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Eric Roddy, Sewanee: The University of the South
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Rafe Mosetick, Emory University
ITA Rookie of the Year: Jonathan Jemison, Emory University
ITA Player to Watch: Aman Manji, Emory University
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Aman Manji, Emory University

Northeast Region
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year:
Conor Smith, Bowdoin College
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Arik Zeevy, Stevens Institute of Technology
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Luke Trinka, Bowdoin College
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Matthew Heinrich, Stevens Institute of Technology
ITA Rookie of the Year: Zach Bessette, Amherst College
ITA Player to Watch: Luke Tercek, Bowdoin College
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Chase Savage, Bowdoin College

West Region
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year:
Patrick Dreves, Lewis & Clark College
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Pete Yellico, Pacific University, Oregon
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Daniel Budd, University of Texas at Tyler
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Skyler Butts, Claremont McKenna College
ITA Rookie of the Year: Arthur Fagundes, University of Texas at Tyler
ITA Player to Watch: Jake Yasgoor, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Paxton Duel, Trinity University (TX)