ITA Announces 2014 California Junior College Award Winners
SKILLMAN, NJ (April 23) - The ITA has announced its 2014 award winners for California Junior College men's and women's tennis. The award winners are listed below, followed by a brief description of each winner's accomplishments.
Women's Awards - California Junior Colleges
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year - Lauren Hickey, Foothill College
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year - Chuck Conkey, Saddleback College
ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship - Remy Littrell, Palomar College
ITA Player of the Year - Sarah Anderson, Fullerton College
ITA Player to Watch - Suzanne Lin, Diablo Valley College
ITA Rookie Player of the Year - Rose Sgolsutyatorn, El Camino College
Men's Awards - California Junior Colleges
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year - Bo Jabery-Madison, American River College
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year - Jony Chai, Cerritos College
ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship - Richard Catabona, LA Pierce College
ITA Player of the Year - Nathan Eshmade, Cerritos College
ITA Player to Watch - Guillermo Ucelay, Irvine Valley College
ITA Rookie Player of the Year - Lovedeep Singh, American River College
Lauren Hickey, the 2014 Women's Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year, has taken a team that could once barely fill out a complete roster to the top of the Coast Conference. This season, Foothill was 10-0 in conference action and 15-1 overall, which puts them second in the ITA Northern California Women's Team Rankings. As a previous community college athlete, this coach understands what it means to compete at this level. While competing at Santa Rosa Junior College she earned ITA All-American Honors both years.
Chuck Conkey, the 2014 ITA Women's Assistant Coach of the Year, is the model of sportsmanship. He calls his own players on foot faults and encourages a positive attitude. He has the ability to recognize the pattern of play in a match and communicate to the player what needs to be done. He donates to the local schools and plays in charity tournaments to help raise money for schools. He's helped Saddleback College to a 9-7 record this season, a four-win improvement from 2012-13.
Remy Littrell, the 2014 Women's ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship winner, was a 2013 ITA Singles All-American at Palomar College. She is a model student-athlete in every sense of the word that would go out of her way to make sure that her teammates were not only accepted, but would be successful in the classroom as well as on the tennis court. She was nominated as the captain of the women's team this year and embraced the role. She posted a 12-3 overall singles record with a 9-3 conference record.
Sarah Anderson, the 2014 ITA Women's Player of the Year, led her team to a perfect 10-0 conference record and the 2014 Orange Empire Conference Championship with a 20-2 singles record and an unblemished 20-0 record in doubles. She was named the 2014 Orange Empire Conference Player of the Year and Doubles Player of the Year. Last season, she led Fullerton to its first CCCAA State Championship, while also winning the CCCAA State Doubles Title and finishing runner-up in singles.
Suzanne Lin, 2014 ITA Women's Player to Watch, is a consistent player who always gives her best regardless of her opponent, including men's players. She is not only a team captain, but also plays the role of big sister on her team. She went 11-2 in singles action and 10-3 in doubles and is ranked No. 3 in singles and No. 2 in doubles in the ITA California Junior/Community Colleges Northern California Rankings.
Rose Sgolsutyatorn, the 2014 ITA Women's Rookie Player of the Year, is undefeated with wins over last year's state singles finalist and doubles champion, last year's state quarterfinalist and the 2013 UST/ITA Southern California Regional Singles Champion. In addition she currently carries 16 credits with a 3.5 GPA in the classroom.
Bo Jabery-Madison, the 2014 Men's Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year, has consistently kept American River College in the Top 10 of the state since he took over the program in 2005. Last year, the team won its conference and finished third in the state with a 22-1 record. The Beavers are 13-2 this season, and five players were selected to the Big 8 North All-Conference Team. This coach never allows his players to represent his college, tennis program or tennis in any negative way. In addition to the on-court success, his team has won the men's tennis state team G.P.A. award three times, in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and he has consistently transferred players on to four-year institutions on athletic and academic scholarships.
Jony Chai, the 2014 ITA Men's Assistant Coach of the Year, helped lead his team to an 18-6 record a year after a 9-11 campaign. In addition to his great work on the men's team, he was given complete control of the women's tennis team. He took a losing program and came within points of second place in arguably the toughest conference in California. He also volunteers time at Cerritos High School, who have won two championships in a row and advanced to three consecutive finals.
Richard Catabona, the 2014 Men's ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship winner, has been ranked as one of the 20 best players in Southern California as a junior starting in the 10's all the way to the 18's. He has volunteered at Valley Presbyterian Hospital's Recovery Room and has volunteered to teach tennis at Match Tough Tennis Academy for kids 10 and under. Through all this, he has maintained a 3.8 GPA, while being in the Honors Program at Pierce College and has been on the Dean's Honor List the whole time he has been in college. In 2011, he won the USTA/ITA Southern California Regional Doubles Championship and finished third at the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships. Last year, he went undefeated in conference play and had a record of 22-3 in singles. He was a finalist at the Western State Conference Championship last year and a quarterfinalist at the California Community College Athletic Association Championships.
Nathan Eshmade, the 2014 ITA Men's Player of the Year, is last year's ITA Region I Rookie of the Year. He reached the USTA/ITA National Small College Championship singles semifinal, has a 23-1 overall record and has not lost since October 12. He has also had significant success on the doubles court, holding a record of 22-3. He's the top-ranked player in both the ITA Southern California singles and doubles rankings.
Guillermo Ucelay, the 2014 ITA Men's Player to Watch, was named Conference Player of the Year in the Orange Empire Conference. He went 10-1 in singles play, with his only loss coming to an NAIA opponent. In doubles, he finished 8-1. He is a team player and does an incredible amount of work during practice and on his own.
Lovedeep Singh, the 2014 ITA Men's Rookie Player of the Year, is currently 13-1 in singles and 15-1 in doubles. His only loss in singles came to Nathan Eshmade of Cerritos, a favorite for ITA Region I Player of the Year. He's currently ranked No.1 in the ITA Northern California Singles and Doubles Rankings.
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.