Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Mike Fried, Wesleyan University
Fried has brought the level of the Wesleyan teams (both men and women) significantly up since he has started as coach there. Both the men's and women's teams defeated the No. 1 team in the country in 2017. The Wesleyan team this year was 10-3 in dual matches, featuring wins over CMU, WashU, Amherst, and Emory. Fried’s team was a pleasure to play against, with fair line calls and great sportsmanship. The team ended the regular season ranked No. 5 nationally; the highest mark in program history.
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Bryce Parmelly, Middlebury College
Parmelly is finishing his second year as assistant coach at Middlebury College. To say he has had instrumental impact on this program is an absolute understatement. As a player, Parmelly finished his college career with doubles All-American status and a NCAA Team Championship to show for it in his final senior year. He immediately became Bob Hansen’s assistant for five consecutive seasons, and together they won two ITA National Team Indoor Titles (2007 &2010) and two NCAA Team Championships (2007 & 2009). Last year with Parmelly back at Hansen’s side they won the NESCAC Team Tournament and lost in the finals of the NCAA’s. They have coached numerous singles and doubles All-Americans and numerous singles and doubles National Champions. This year we are currently the top ranked team in the country. He constantly teaches how healthy team chemistry and true character win championships, "we are only as strong as our weakest link" is a common phrase of his and the boys buy in. He focuses on what character really means, resiliency, fairness, and most importantly the strength we display if we all make our team the priority over our individual wants. I have seen him overrule our players on numerous instances, pull guys aside when they are acting out of line, and be there when they are breaking down to show support; he is always there for our players and their needs no matter when or where it’s needed.
ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Aman Manji, Emory University
Manji is arguably one of the most talented players head coach John Browning has ever coached. Manji came to Emory as a 3-star recruit, who was not highly recruited. He did not make the lineup his freshman year but continued to work hard on his game. This past fall, Manji accomplished something only one Emory player has ever done, and that’s to win the Division III singles championship at the ITA Oracle Cup. Manji is currently, the No. 1-ranked player in the country, and, although this makes him extremely valuable to our program, his greatest contribution is not what he’s done on court, but rather, how he has demonstrated integrity on and off the court. Manji is a role model for his teammates and coaching staff because he places character and integrity above winning. He has become an incredible ambassador for Emory University because he plays the game the right way. He competes hard but never sacrifices his integrity in the heat of competition. As a result, Manji has garnered much respect from his opponents and opposing coaches across Division III. Last year, Manji was the first Emory player to win the ITA Atlantic South Regional Arthur Ashe award. Manji is an incredibly unselfish young man; among his teammates he has become the voice of reason and support. Players feel comfortable going to Aman for help because they know he will give them love, support, and honest, non-judgmental feedback. Manji is the embodiment of the Division III philosophy. Aman is a true “student-athlete” and approaches his academic life with the same commitment and vigor that he does with his tennis. He has done an amazing job of juggling a rigorous academic schedule with the demands of the tennis program.
ITA Rookie of the Year: Nikolai Parodi, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Playing No. 1 Singles on the No. 3-ranked team in Division III, he currently ranks No. 3 in West Region. He reached the finals of ITA West Regional in the Fall and won Ojai singles and doubles in 2017. He's 23-8 at the No. 1 singles position with wins over Wash U, Bowdoin, Williams, Trinity, Pomona-Pitzer, and Chicago. His only loss in region is to Lipscomb. He also participated in the ITA Oracle Cup in the fall, finishing No. 7 in singles and No. 3 in doubles (with Glenn Hull).
ITA Player to Watch: Wilson Lambeth, Trinity University
Lambeth has played top three since he arrived as a freshman last year. This year he played both No. 1 and No. 2 and has been one of his team’s most dependable players. He has a huge game and continues to improve. Lambeth advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA Southwest Regional in singles and won the event in doubles. He and his partner then proceeded to advance to the finals of the ITA Oracle Cup. They are currently ranked No. 1 in the West Region Rankings. He was 16-13 in singles and 22-8 in doubles as a freshman. This year, he has a record of 16-12 overall in singles and is currently ranked No. 18 in the West Region rankings. Facing an incredibly challenging schedule, he has recorded wins against D1 opponents from UIW and UTSA, D2 St. Mary's, as well as ranked opponents from RPI, Stevens, Gustavus, UT Tyler, Whitman, and Southwestern. He was voted to All-SCAC team for the second straight year. And also selected to the SCAC All-Tournament team in singles and doubles for the second straight year. He was voted rookie of the year for our team last year by his teammates and coaches.
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Vlad Murad, Colby College
This season as a senior Murad has a singles record of 16-4. His first three years and for part of this year he has always played No. 2, but has ascended to No. 1 in the lineup this year through a tremendous amount of hard work in the gym. In the fall he made the semifinals of the Northeast ITA Regional Championship. This spring Murad has only one loss in region, and has recorded wins over Bowdoin, Tufts, Williams, Bates, TCNJ, NYU in singles. He was chosen to qualify for the NCAA Individual tournament for the first time in his career in singles. Murad is an exceptional student with a 4.04 GPA as a double major in Computer Science and Math
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Kai Yuen Leung, Skidmore College
Kai Yuen is a three-time singles All-American and one-time doubles All-American who is currently 26-4 on the year playing No. 1 for the Thoroughbreds. In the past 12 months, he has wins over then-national No. 1 Noah Farrell, and current national No. 2 Lubomir Cuba. He made the round of 16 at last year's NCAA singles championship, and is the two-time defending champion at the ITA Northeast Regional singles tournament. The defending Liberty League Player of the Year also recently won Skidmore's prestigious Senior-Athlete Award and the team's MVP award. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the Northeast and No. 5 in the nation in singles. Kai Yuen has been elected captain by his teammates three times, and is universally respected within the program for his activity and work ethic both on and off the court. He has been an active participant in the team's community service initiatives, and is a great sportsman who is respected by his opponents for his fair play and class. As mentioned above, he was recently awarded both the team's MVP award and the prestigious Skidmore Senior-Athlete Award.
ITA Community Service Award: Skidmore College
Skidmore spent time with several organizations this past year, including the 15-Love Tennis Program and Saratoga Bridges. They collected and organized food donations for Skidmore Cares and volunteered for the It’s On Us campaign to address the problem of sexual assault and sexual violence on college campuses. The team really embraced the volunteer initiatives, and they were at their best while serving in these roles. Seeing the players put themselves out there to publicly take a stand on sexual assault was the highest achievement of our program for the year. The group has been at their best while extending their efforts in this community beyond the classroom and the playing field and into the realm of citizenship and activism. They are obviously making the campus and community a better place, but equally as important they are reflecting on the many ways they themselves are privileged and what that means for the debt they themselves have to serve.
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Dave Schwarz, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Schwarz took his team to the No. 1 ranking and an undefeated regular season. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps reached the semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tennis Championships, where they fell to Emory 5-1. On the court, Schwarz has been known to take points from his own players in order to uphold sportsmanship.
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Andrew Cohn, Pomona Pitzer Colleges
Cohn has helped shape the success of the Pomona-Pitzer women's tennis program over the past four years as the assistant coach. With recently-retired Ann Lebedeff out for numerous semesters due to health issues, Cohn assumed the interim head coach position this year again in the fall of 2016. Cohn is an excellent recruiter, plans and organizes practices and activities for the team, and does everything he needs to do above and beyond to keep the program flowing positively. He loves coaching, loves the kids, and is a great ambassador for the program. He has served and helped on all kinds of ITA committees, many times on my behalf, and has again done an excellent job. He has helped organize such events as Special Olympics, Race for the Cure, Southern California Hemophiliac Day at Pomona College, and numerous ITA tournaments. The team has been extremely fortunate to have such a great person in Drew to continue the traditions and legacy of Sagehen Tennis.
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Samantha Mae Coyiuto, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
Coyiuto has compiled a 63-26 career record, and played anywhere from No. 1 to 4 singles, and all three doubles positions. Coyiuto has a cumulative 11.785 GPA (on a 12.0 scale), has been a three-year team captain and been a vital member of the culture, leadership and success of the program despite battling injury after injury. Throughout her career, Coyiuto has found success on court, being regionally and/or nationally ranked in all four of her playing seasons. She began her career playing toward the top of the lineup at No. 2 as a freshman and line one singles as a sophomore before a torn labrum injury in her hip sidelined her for her third season. Coming back into the team, Coyiuto regained her form and has continued to find success and push our team to greater heights. Throughout her career, she has a 63-26 record against top national competition. Above all her on court accomplishments is the amount Coyiuto gives back to everyone she encounters. As covered in her NCAA Champion feature, Coyiuto has already written and published five books; founded a creative writing workshop for high school students, as well as an entire library, back in her home country of the Philippines. She is a 2017 Pomona-Pitzer Female Scholar-Athlete and a 2013-17 SCIAC All Conference honoree.
ITA Rookie of the Year: Nicole Tan, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Nicole Tan has had a spectacular spring. She is currently ranked No. 2 in the West in singles and No. 1 in doubles. She is 13-0 playing at the number 1 and 2 spots in singles. Wins against Middlebury, Williams, Pomona, Bowdoin, etc. Nicole has also played number 1 doubles and has been undefeated there as well except for one Division 1 loss. Nicole has been a key cog in the CMS success this year. Nicole also always competes with the upmost sportsmanship.
ITA Player to Watch: Christina Puccinelli, Middlebury College
After having a successful year in 2016 playing at No. 4 (21-4), Christina has stepped up to play No. 2 for Middlebury and is currently ranked No. 4 in the region in the NCAA rankings. Her record stands at 19-5 so far with wins over Amherst, Williams, Tufts, Bowdoin, including winning her last 11 matches.
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Hannah Atkinson, Williams College
Atkinson was in and out of the lineup both her freshman and sophomore years. It wasn't until junior year that she permanently broke into the mix in both singles and doubles. This year, she has firmly established herself at No. 1 doubles and No. 4 singles (playing some No. 3). These are the highest spots Atkinson has played in the lineup. She has demonstrated much success at these higher spots, including doubles wins over ranked teams from Bowdoin, Middlebury, Pomona-Pitzer, Washington & Lee and more. She has singles wins over top teams including Bowdoin, Amherst, Middlebury, Pomona-Pitzer, Wesleyan, Chicago and more. Her singles record at the time of the awards nominations was 17-3 in singles and 17-8 in doubles.
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Rebecca Ho, Washington University in St. Louis
Ho has been a seven-time All-American (3 singles and 4 doubles with four different partners). She has consistently finished in the top of the Central and National Rankings for Singles and Doubles. She has qualified as an individual for NCAA for singles three times and for doubles two times. Her overall Win-Loss record to date is: 99-16 singles and 76-36 for doubles. Ho was a team captain this year. She majored in Electrical Engineering and is a hard worker on the tennis court and in the classroom. She chose to lead through her actions; she was a quiet, unassuming leader for the team.
ITA Community Service Award: Tufts University
We have been volunteering for both Special Olympics and ACEing Autism continuously since ACEing Autism started in 2009 and we started hosting Special Olympics tennis during the 2011-2012 season, and have hosted ever since. Community service has always been a part of our program. The team chooses each year how they want to give back. The team has enjoyed this continuous relationship with both organizations, which has played a big part in their decision each year to continue working with each organization. No matter how busy the team is with school work, jobs, senior thesis, tennis, etc, they always find time to give back.
ACEing Autism – The entire team volunteered. We assisted the main coaches, helped with feeding and technique and joined in on games. We worked ½ with the younger kids and ½ with the older kids. The volunteering went so well that one of the older children's parents asked two of our players to privately coach him at tufts and our team member has been giving him weekly private lessons ever since on the Tufts campus. We have been involved with this organization for all the years the seniors have been on the team and have remained consistent partners with them. ACEing Autism’s mission is: “to connect children with autism through unique tennis programs, and to develop and advance proven methods to positively impact the children, families and communities we serve.”
Special Olympics - The entire team hosted Special Olympics tournament once again. We helped set up the entire event including coordinating with the event planners at Special Olympics, recruiting people on both our team as well as other teams and individuals on campus to sign up to volunteer. This year we had a record turnout of volunteers - much more than in previous years (40 volunteers compared to the usual 15 or so). In previous years we assisted only with being ball people and score keepers, this year we actually ran the tournament because the Special Olympics correspondent we had talked to got extremely sick at the last minute and couldn't come. We set up each match based on level, gender and age as well as provided the balls and made announcements etc. The event was from 9-2 and we were there from 8 to 3, in addition to a few hours of our time spent planning. A few students from ACEing Autism were there and we recognized other players from hosting Special Olympics in previous years.
Lastly, two of our team members have a strong involvement with SAAC & Fan The Fire, which is run through SAAC - organizes on campus events to promote athletic events while raising money for particular. Alexa and Lauren have been the two involved in this. Here is the list of community service that Alexa and Lauren have participated in as SAAC representatives. Alexa has served on SAAC executive board junior and senior years, specifically helping fan the fire. She was named co-head of fan the fire senior year where she organized on campus SAAC events, community engagement, promoted and publicized events, acted as a liaison between Tufts athletics and student athletes in order to unite the Tufts community.