Awards & Achievements, August 2014

August 1, 2014 11:52 AM

Southern players and organizations are constantly making their mark in the world of tennis. Here's a list of recent awards, achievements and news in August 2014.

ITA awards

The ITA has announced the 2014 ITA Collegiate All-Star Team, a collection of the best collegiate tennis players from the 2013-14 season, including the Southerners listed below.

Featuring the nation's top student-athletes from tennis programs across the nation, the ITA Collegiate All-Star Team was inaugurated in 1984. The All-Star Team features the nation's top-ranked men's and women's players from the year-end ITA College Tennis Rankings at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior and Community College levels, as well as winners of the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships and 2014 NCAA Division I Championships.

The ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. National Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winners are also typically honored during the ITA Awards Luncheon. This prestigious award takes into account a player's tennis accomplishments, scholastic achievements and extracurricular endeavors, and recognizes players who excelled on and off the court as Ashe did during his life.  Sportsmanship, leadership and character are important criteria, as is giving back to the community.

The 2014 ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. National Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winners are:

NAIA: Dominika Jasova, Brenau University;

Junior/Community College: Mallory Davis, Meridian Community College.

The 2014 ITA Collegiate All-Star Team members are listed below with descriptions of their impressive performances.


Lauren Herring/Maho Kowase, University of Georgia

Herring, of Greenville, N.C., and Kowase reached the doubles finals of the 2013 USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championships and advanced to the doubles semifinals of the 2013 USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. The Bulldogs made it all the way to the doubles final at the 2014 NCAA Championships and ended the year as the No. 2 ranked team in the country.

Kendal Woodard/Megan Kurey, Georgia Tech

Sophomores Megan Kurey, of Alpharetta, Ga., and Kendal Woodard, of Stockbridge, Ga., won the 2013 USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championships doubles title during the fall season, and continued their great run by capturing the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships doubles title. The pair was seeded at the NCAA Championships and finished the year ranked No. 7 in the ITA Doubles Rankings.


Jade Curtis, Auburn University at Montgomery

Curtis, a senior, finished the 2014 season with a 21-3 singles record, playing entirely at the No. 1 position. She added a 21-5 mark in doubles play, including a perfect 9-0 mark when teaming with Bright Phakamad. A two-time Scholar-Athlete, the native of Saltash, England, ended her collegiate career as the No. 1 player in the ITA NAIA Women's Singles Rankings.

Men: NCAA Division I Doubles

Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese, University of Tennessee

Libietis and Reese, of Kennesaw, Ga., won their program's second ever NCAA Doubles Championship by defeating Ohio State's Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 7-6(6) and ended the year as the top-ranked doubles team in the ITA Doubles Rankings. The Vols finished with a 36-5 record and went 13-1 during major tournaments this year, also winning the 2013 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championship and finishing as runners-up at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. 

A's and Aces receives grant

USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), today announced that it has partnered with longtime US Open sponsor JPMorgan Chase & Co. to award 10 National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) programs with $10,000 each to go toward tennis and education programming. In addition, JPMorgan Chase will launch a nationwide Twitter campaign to award one NJTL program with an additional $10,000.

A's and Aces, of New Orleans, was one of the programs.

Kicking off on Aug. 16, JPMorgan Chase will launch a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #returntheserve. The NJTL program that secures the most mentions will receive the additional $10,000. The contest will conclude Sept. 7 and the winning program will be announced during JPMorgan Day at the 2014 US Open. For more information, visit

Whoriskey earns US Open wild card

The USTA today announced that former Univ. of Tennessee star Caitlin Whoriskey and Sanam Singh won the 2014 US Open National Playoffs – Women’s and Men’s Singles Championships to earn wild cards into the US Open Qualifying Tournament. The Playoffs were held August 15-18, in New Haven, Conn., in conjunction with the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, the final Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s event of the summer.

Unseeded Whoriskey, 26, of East Sandwich, Mass., defeated 15-year-old Michaela Gordon of Saratoga, Calif., 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, to capture the 2014 US Open National Playoffs women’s title. Whoriskey is a former University of Tennessee standout, who was a three-time All-American and was named the 2010 ITA National Senior Player of the Year after leading the Volunteers to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight seasons. She also reached the final of the 2010 NCAA Doubles Championships with Natalie Pluskota. Whoriskey captured her first career USTA Pro Circuit singles title in May at the $10,000 event in Hilton Head Island, S.C., where she also won the doubles crown. She has also captured seven USTA Pro Circuit and ITF-level doubles titles throughout the world. Whoriskey is ranked No. 526 in the world.

The 2014 US Open Qualifying Tournament begins tomorrow and ends on August 22. It will be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., at the home of the US Open. Qualifying draws will be posted later today at

Atlanta NJTL receives funds

USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), today announced that it has received a grant in the amount of $125,000 from the Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm for The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO). As part of the grant, the USTA Foundation will fund $10,000 to 10 National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) programs nationwide that utilize the ACE (Academic Creative Engagement™) Curriculum.

The ACE curriculum provides hands-on academic lessons in literacy and math and includes additional lessons on nutrition, all designed to encourage academic achievement, health and wellness while developing social skills. In addition to the funds, the following NJTL programs will also receive professional development support and materials:

Recipient in USTA Southern was Atlanta Youth Tennis and Education Foundation.

In January 2014, the USTA Foundation combined with USTA NJTL, a national network of 630 community-based tennis and education programs serving more than 330,000 youth, to become a fully operational foundation.

Founded in 1984, The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded more than $660 million to support global sustainable community initiatives, including water stewardship, women’s empowerment, active healthy living and education.