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Vanderbilt's Bobby Reynolds Named ITA National Player to Watch

May 22, 2003 05:04 PM
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced its national award winners for NCAA Division I men's tennis and inducted the Class of 2003 into the ITA Men's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame Wednesday night at the Holiday Inn in downtown Athens.

Highlighting this year's national award winners is Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year Craig Tiley of Illinois. Tiley, who also received this award in 1999, guided Illinois to a 32-0 season and its first NCAA title last night. In February Illinois also won the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor title. Illinois' Bruce Berque, in his fifth season with the Fighting Illini, will be named ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year.

This year's ITA Men's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame induction class consists of Southern California's Bill Bond, Dick Leach and Robert Van't Hof, as well as George M. Church of Princeton, Bob McKinley of Trinity (Texas) and longtime NCAA Referee Jim Russell. Church will be inducted posthumously.

In addition to Illinois' Tiley and Berque, this year's other national award winners are:
ITA/Farnsworth National Senior Players of the Year - David Martin, Stanford, and Ryan Newport, Texas A&M
ITA National Rookie of the Year - Janne Holmia, Florida
ITA National Player to Watch - Bobby Reynolds, Vanderbilt
ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award - Vince Ng, Ohio State
ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship - Trevor Smith, Princeton
ITA/John Van Nostrand Memorial Award - John Paul Fruttero, California

Texas A&M's Newport and Stanford's Martin will share this year's Farnsworth/ITA National Senior Player of the Year award. Martin, who is from Tulsa, Okla., is ranked No. 4 in the Omni Hotels national doubles rankings and No. 8 in singles. He has reached three national doubles finals during his career and helped Stanford to the NCAA semifinals this season. Newport, a native of Houston, is ranked No. 13 in singles and No. 25 in doubles. A two-time ITA All-American, he is 20-5 this season and helped the Aggies to the NCAA round of 16. Part of this award's criteria is a player's improvement over his career and neither recipient was ranked in the ITA's top 100 singles rankings as freshmen. Martin is the fifth Stanford player to win this award and Newport is the first from A&M.

Florida's Holmia is the nation's top-ranked freshman at No. 5 in the latest singles rankings, and the only freshman in the top 20. The Tampere, Finland, native played a big role in helping Florida hold a No. 2 national team ranking over the last three months. Holmia was also named SEC Freshman of the Year. He is the first Gator player to win this award.

Vanderbilt's Reynolds, a junior from Acworth, Ga., was named NCAA Championships MVP last night as he led the Commodores to the national final. He has been ranked No. 1 in singles the last two months of the season and is 44-6 on the year (losing just once since January). He was also the first player to ever be named ITA National Player of the Month three times in the same season. The ITA National Player to Watch award goes to a highly-ranked non-senior player who has had an outstanding season, has not yet won an ITA national singles title, but is expected to contend for one in the future.

Ohio State's Ng, perhaps the nation's most improved player, receives the ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award which goes to a player who displays sportsmanship, character, excellent academics and has had outstanding tennis playing accomplishments. Ng, a senior from Broadview Heights, Ohio, was named a Verizon Academic All-America last year. Unranked the previous three seasons, Ng is currently No. 38 in the national singles rankings and was named Big Ten Player of the Year. The Osuna Award is the ITA's oldest award, beginning in 1969 and named in memory of the former USC NCAA champion.

Smith, a senior from Hilton Head, S.C., is this year's ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship recipient. This award goes to goes to a player who has exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements. Trevor's father is tennis legend Stan Smith, a former U.S. Open, Wimbledon and NCAA champion, and friend to the late Ashe. Trevor was captain for Princeton this past season and played No. 1 singles. An ITA Scholar-Athlete, he was also active Athletes in Action and a Special Olympics volunteer.

Fruttero, a senior from San Marino, Calif., receives the ITA/John Van Nostrand Memorial Award, which is a stipend given to an outstanding senior who plans to pursue a career in professional tennis. A two-time ITA All-American, Fruttero helped California reach the NCAA quarterfinals after rebounding from wrist surgery that kept him out of the lineup until March.

The ITA names the National Player of the Year and National Doubles Team of the Year next month.

As the governing body of collegiate tennis the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which was founded in 1956 and is based in Skillman, N.J., administers numerous regional and national championships, the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit, presented by the USTA, and the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings for men's and women's tennis at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA website is
www.itatennis.com
 

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