TEMPE, Ariz. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the 2016 Division I national award winners on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at the 2016 Division I NCAA Tennis Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Amanda Augustus, University of California, Berkeley
Augustus led the Golden Bears (her alma mater) to unprecedented heights in 2016. Cal won its first-ever ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championship, and opened the dual match season with a school-record 19 consecutive victories. Ranked No. 1 for most of the season, Cal earned the No. 1 overall seed in the 2016 Division I NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship and reached the semifinal round before falling to Oklahoma State. Cal concluded its 2016 campaign with a 23-2 record.
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Chris Hooshyar, Auburn University
In his third year with Auburn, Hooshyar has helped guide the Tigers to many program firsts. Auburn women's tennis finished the regular season 22-7 (9-4 SEC) for a program record in wins for a season and also finished fourth in the SEC, another program record. Auburn's No. 10 ranking in the latest Oracle/ITA team rankings is another program high. Hooshyar pushed the Tigers to 12 wins over ranked opponents this season.
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Taylor Ng, Dartmouth College
During the 2015-16 season, Ng and partner Kristina Mathis beat the country’s then-No. 1 doubles team from Kentucky and also reached the 2015 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships doubles semifinal. Ng also competed in the main singles and doubles draws of the 2015 ITA/Riviera All-American Championship. And last year, after going undefeated at No. 1 in Ivy League conference singles play, she led Dartmouth to the second round of the NCAA Team Championship and competed in the main draw of the 2015 NCAA singles tournament. In addition to being an accomplished player on the court, Ng has proven to be a highly successful student at Dartmouth. She just received the Class of 1948 Scholar-Athlete Award, which is given to one male and one female member of the junior class, who have combined outstanding performance in athletics and significant achievement in academics, as nominated by the head coaches of all varsity sports and selected by the Director of Athletics. Her GPA is a 3.81. She was named an ITA Scholar-Athlete in 2014 and 2015, as well as an Ivy League Scholar-Athlete in 2015. Ng has also been recognized as a Dartmouth Presidential Scholar. In addition to her studies, Ng has been active on campus and also in the community. She founded Canaan Kids, is the treasurer of Kappa Delta Epsilon (KDE), was a participant in Big Green Readers and David’s House (home for families with children in the hospital) and a tutor for economics. On the court, she is known for being fiercely competitive while also being extremely fair. Ng leads her teammates by example with how hard she fights in every match, while always conducting herself with the utmost sportsmanship. After a match, she is always the first person to thank the tournament director, officials, and volunteers, and also graciously interacts with the alumni and fans.
ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship: Julia Elbaba, University of Virginia
Elbaba became the University of Virginia’s all-time singles wins leader with 131, and has posted a 35-7 record in her senior season, playing primarily in the No. 2 position after spending her first three years at No. 1 singles. Elbaba was the UVa team captain each of the past two seasons. Academically, she’s been named to the Academic All-ACC team twice, and was named to the UVa Honor Roll. According to her coaches, she has always behaved and worked within the team with the highest standards and actions. Elbaba has grown a lot as a person and player over her four-year career and has also competed full time each summer to continue her development as a player.
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Danielle Collins, University of Virginia
Won two ITA National Titles in the Fall; the 2015 Oracle/ITA Masters and the 2015 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championship. She’s currently ranked No. 2 nationally. The 2014 NCAA National Singles Champion, Collins led the Cavaliers all year at No. 1 singles and doubles, losing only two dual singles matches. A team captain, Collins was named to the UVa Academic Honor Roll.
ITA Most Improved Senior Player of the Year: Frances Altick, Vanderbilt University
Currently ranked No. 14 in the Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis national singles ranking. Was an All-SEC first team selection and posted a 33-5 record entering the 2016 NCAA Division Women’s Tennis Championship. Altick won the 2015 USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championship, and reached the quarterfinals of the 2015 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Qualified for the Volvo Open, a professional event in Charleston, South Carolina. Started her collegiate career at No. 6 singles and worked her way up to No. 2, occasionally playing No. 1 singles as well.
ITA Player to Watch: Brooke Austin, University of Florida
The 2015 national Rookie of the Year, Austin had a stellar sophomore campaign for the Gators. This season, Austin has compiled a 20-6 overall singles record with a 14-2 dual match record and 9-1 mark in SEC play. She is currently ranked No. 4 in the Oracle/ITA singles rankings. In the fall, Austin reached the singles quarterfinal round of the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American and the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championship. In singles, Austin is 35-8 overall in her career against ITA ranked opponents, including a 14-3 record during 2015-16. Austin has played No. 1 singles for the Florida Gators since her arrival in Gainesville. Overall, Austin has a 52-14 singles record in the Orange and Blue with a 33-5 record in dual matches in her two seasons. In doubles, Austin has a career doubles record of 52-13 with a 26-7 record this season. She is a two-time SEC Player of the Year (only the third in conference history to win back-to-back Player of the Year honors); 2015 SEC Freshman of the Year; 2015 & 2016 First Team All-SEC, 2015 & 2016 SEC All-Tournament Team; 2015 SEC All-Freshman Team; 2015 Honda Sport Award for tennis nominee; 2015 All-American in Singles and Doubles; 2015 ITA National/Southeast Region Rookie of the Year; 2015 USTA Collegiate National Team player; one-time SEC Freshman of the Week; three-time SEC Player of the Week. The Florida Gators have won two SEC Regular Season Championships; a berth into the 2015 NCAA Quarterfinals and 2016 NCAA Round of 16, and the 2016 SEC Tournament title.
ITA Rookie of the Year: Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine University
Stefani was a standout on the court for the Waves this season, currently ranking sixth in the Oracle/ITA singles rankings and 23rd alongside her partner in the doubles rankings this season. She has ranked as high as No. 2 in the singles rankings and as high as No. 8 in the doubles rankings. Throughout the regular season, she boasted a 17-2 record in the dual campaign, all from the No. 1 singles position. In doubles, she and her partners have gone 15-3 in dual contests, including a 10-2 record in the No. 1 spot and 5-1 record in the No. 2 position. Overall in 2015-16, she has produced a 31-5 overall record, including a 20-4 record against nationally ranked singles opponents. In doubles throughout 2015-16, she has produced a 21-4 overall record with partners, including a 4-2 record against nationally ranked opponents. She has tabbed WCC singles player of the week honors on four separate occasions, all of which she was also named doubles team of the week with her partners. In the fall this season, she won the USTA/ITA Southwest Regional Singles Championship and the USTA/ITA Southwest Regionals Doubles Championship with her partner.
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Brian Boland, University of Virginia
Boland guided the Cavaliers to their second straight NCAA National Championship, and third national title in four seasons, defeating Oklahoma 4-1 in the 2016 final (Virginia also bested the Sooners by a 4-1 score in the 2015 final). The Cavaliers (30-4) entered the 2016 Division I NCAA Men's Tennis Championship as the No. 1 overall seed and concluded the year ranked No. 1 in the Oracle/ITA National Collegiate Tennis Rankings.
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Tripp Phillips, University of North Carolina
Phillips has proven to be a valuable asset to the North Carolina program and coaching staff in his nine years at Chapel Hill. The UNC alum was promoted to the title of Associate Head Coach in 2013. Phillips helped guide the Tar Heels to the ITA Division I National Men’s Team Indoor Championship and No. 1 Oracle/ITA national team ranking this season.
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Quentin Monaghan, University of Notre Dame
Monaghan has racked up numerous on court accolades in his career at Notre Dame, including reaching the NCAA National Singles Championship semifinals, USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship doubles semifinals. He’s been ranked as high as No. 5 in singles and No. 6 in doubles, and has over 100 career singles wins. A Dean’s List student, who is in the No. 1-ranked Mendoza College of Business. He’s the winner of Notre Dame's prestigious Byron Kanaley award. A two-time team captain, three-year participant in Rosenthal Leadership Academy and three-time Academic All-Conference. Throughout all of his individual success, Monaghan remained grounded in the team and served as a source of leadership and confidence to his teammates. As a senior, Monaghan has been one of the strongest and most inspiring leaders in Notre Dame tennis history. His leadership helped carry our team to one of the best finishes to a season in Notre Dame history, which included a 5-2 win over then-No. 1 North Carolina.
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Dominik Koepfer, Tulane University
Koepfer currently sports a 30-4 overall record, including an 18-2 dual match record – all at No. 1 singles. He had a 21-match win streak that ran from Nov. 12, 2015 to April 10, 2016. All four of his losses came against Top 10 ranked opponents. Faced 24 ranked opponents this past year, and earned a 20-4 record against them. Had six wins against Top 25 ranked singles players. Koepfer’s 30 singles wins is tied for the fourth most in program history for a single season. He now boasts 101 career singles wins which ranks third all-time in program history. Was ranked the No. 1 singles player in the country from Jan. 5–April 19. Is the first Tulane player to be ranked No. 1 in Oracle/ITA rankings, and is currently ranked No. 3. Reached three straight semifinals or better in the fall at the three major ITA National Championships. Won the 2015 National Indoor Intercollegiate Singles Championship; was the first Tulane singles national champion since 1955. Reached the finals of the 2015 ITA Men’s All-American Championship. First player since 2011 to reach back-to-back finals at All-Americans and NIIC. Reached the semis of the Oracle/ITA Masters. Koepfer and Virginia’s Thai-Son Kwiatkowski are the only two NCAA Division I men’s tennis players to have made the quarterfinal round or better at five of the past six major collegiate national championships.
ITA Most Improved Player of the Year: Benjamin Lock, Florida State University
Lock went 24-12 singles and 16-10 doubles in 2016. He’s in the Top 6 in all-time singles and doubles wins in FSU history. Achieved a career-high Oracle/ITA ranking of No. 9 in singles on April 19, while back in 2014 reached No. 4 in the national doubles ranking. Won the consolation draw at the 2015 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship. Posted 15 singles wins against ranked players this season, and four wins against Top 6 doubles teams this year. Was a first team All-ACC selection. Worked his way from the No. 6 singles position as a freshman to the No. 1 singles position as a senior.
ITA Player to Watch: Mikael Torpegaard, The Ohio State University
The current top-ranked player in the country, Torpegaard didn’t drop a singles contest in the dual match season until the Buckeyes reached the 2016 Division I NCAA Tennis Championships. He ended the regular season with a 26-2 record in singles and 24-5 in doubles. The Big Ten Player of the Year in 2016, he was the conference’s Freshman of the Year in 2015. Two-time first team All-Big Ten. Had 14 wins over players ranked in the Top 50. Was undefeated in the Big Ten in both singles and doubles. He’s the fourth Buckeye in the last 10 years to be ranked No. 1 in singles at some point during the season. Four-time Big Ten Player of the Week. Won the consolation bracket at the 2015 ITA Men’s All-American Championship.
ITA Rookie of the Year: Alex Rybakov, TCU
Rybakov joined the TCU tennis program as a late signee and raised the bar in TCU’s competition level He scored 18 wins in his debut campaign, with a perfect 4-0 mark in conference action. The Coral Gables, Florida, native is 16-4 in dual matches and 8-4 against ranked opponents this season. Entering the 2016 NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Rybakov had won six straight matches and had scored a win in 15 of the team’s victories this season. Rybakov entered the Oracle/ITA Singles poll at No. 122 in February and has only gone up from there. After defeating a Top 10 opponent, Rybakov made an almost 100-spot jump in the rankings up to No. 24 and reached as high as No. 15 during the season. In doubles action, Rybakov has paired with fellow top player Cameron Norrie and the duo has been a solid win in doubles action in dual matches for TCU this spring. The duo became a pair in March and strung together nine straight victories and helped the Horned Frogs win the doubles point in eight of those matches. Five of the nine wins were by complete domination as Rybakov and Norrie only allowed their opponents to win one service game in the match.
Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award: Sem Verbeek, University of the Pacific
Verbeek went 19-2 in singles play in 2016, including going undefeated in WCC competition. He was named the 2016 WCC Player of the Year. Academically, he graduated with a 3.94 GPA in health & exercise sciences, and was the top student in that major. A team captain for the past three years, Verbeek always held his teammates accountable and led by example, both on and off the court. He was heavily involved in university and athletic charity work. Verbeek spearheaded several events with his team, including the Read to Win program, Rotary Read-In, Adopt-a-Family, Pacific Sports Day for local elementary school children and the School of Education's Math Steeplechase. He represented the WCC in leadership programs and events. Verbeek won the WCC Male Sportsmanship Award, which encompasses all sports.
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