Allegheny Men, Oklahoma Women Receive
March ITA National Team Sportsmanship Award
SKILLMAN, NJ (March 12) - The Allegheny College men's and University of Oklahoma women's tennis teams have been honored as the recipients of the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Sportsmanship Award for the month of March.
The ITA National Team Sportsmanship Award is a monthly award that goes to one men's and one women's team that has exemplified outstanding sportsmanship, character and ethical conduct in the true spirit of competition and collegiate tennis. The winners are selected by the ITA Ethics and Infractions Committee from nominations received from all ITA member institutions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community Colleges). This monthly award began in 2004.
The Allegheny Gators, a Division III program, are coached by Jared Luteran. Luteran is in his 11th season as the head coach of the Gators men's program.
"It is a tremendous honor for our players and our program as a whole to receive the ITA National Team Sportsmanship Award," Luteran said. "We are very appreciative of the ITA for sponsoring such an important award. Class, pride, and heart are three of the main pillars of our team philosophy statement and our players hold each other accountable to those principles on and off the court."
The Gators recently lost a 5-4 heartbreaker to Denison and the Allegheny sixth singles player had six match points to win the match. Denison is one of the top teams in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), and a win for the Gators would have been their first over the Big Red in 10 years. Despite the devastating loss, the team handled the situation with class and respect.
The Oklahoma Sooners, a Division I school, are led by head coach David Mullins. This is Mullins' sixth year at the helm of the Sooners women's program.
When hosting a recent match against the University of Memphis, the Tigers were stuck at a hotel because of snowy conditions. Mullins and his assistant coach offered to come pick up the Memphis squad since they were unfamiliar driving in snow. At the end of a very competitive match, the Sooners overruled their own player that would have given them an individual and team match point. There was a chair umpire, but the Sooner coaches demanded Memphis get the point.
"This award is a really nice acknowledgement for this special group of student athletes," Mullins said. "It has been a fun process to watch them do all the right things and carry out the philosophy of this program while winning at a high level all season long."
About the ITA
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body of college tennis, overseeing men's and women's varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men and women varsity players, coaches and teams in all divisions, providing recognition for their accomplishments on and off the court. For more information on the ITA, visit the ITA website at www.itatennis.com, like the ITA onFacebook or follow @ITAtennis on Twitter.