2019 ITA NAIA Regional and National Awards Announced


TEMPE, Ariz. (May 13) –
The 2019 ITA National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) men’s and women’s regional and national award winners were announced Monday during a banquet prior to Tuesday’s opening of the NAIA National Championships in Mobile, Ala.

Georgia Gwinnett College’s Chase Hodges swept the Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year honors for his work with both the men’s and women’s teams. He led the men to a 23-0 record, a 105-match winning streak, first-round bye and No. 1 seed in this week’s NAIA National Championships. The Grizzlies’ women’s team posted a 16-1 record and earned the top seed in the national championships.

Williams Wood University’s Diego Vargas (men) and Chinatsu Kajiwara (women) were tabbed ITA Assistant Coaches of the Year.

Indiana Wesleyan juniors Grant Esposito (men) and Lizzie Bauss (women) were selected their respective sports Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award winners.

In addition to an exceptional season on the court, Esposito has made a major impact off the court, providing leadership to his teammates, excelling in the classroom and giving back in the community. A member of the Dean’s List, Esposito mentors an elementary-aged child every week at the poorest school in his county, referees intramural sports on campus, teaches tennis lessons to 30 kids in his hometown each summer and is actively involved in his church.

A standout performer on the court, Bauss has made a difference off the court. She has been a member of the Dean’s List each semester and is involved in the Campus Fellowship of Christian Athletes program. Her community service work includes raising money for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, traveling to a family-owned orphanage in Mayamar to assist children, mentoring an elementary-aged child at the county’s poorest school, volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club and spending time teaching tennis to young people.

Other national men’s and women’s winners included:

ITA Rookie of the Year
Men:
Santiago Perez (Xavier University of Louisiana)
Women: Priya Sukkanha (SCAD Savannah)

ITA Player to Watch
Men:
Federico Nonacia (Georgia Gwinnett College)
Women:
Ana Zavala (William Woods University)

ITA Most Improved Senior
Men:
Gabriel Niculescu (Xavier University of Louisiana)
Women:
Maria Prados Cid (Georgia Gwinnett College)

ITA Senior Player of the Year
Men:
Javier Callejo (William Woods University)
Women:
Alex Mella (Indiana Wesleyan University)

ITA REGIONAL AWARD WINNERS

Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year

Men
Justin Stuckey; William Woods University (Central)
Mark Goldin; Cardinal Stritch University (East)
Chase Hodges; Georgia Gwinnett College (South)
Richard Southern; Arizona Christian University (West)

Women
Ryan Carney; Missouri Valley College (Central)
Mark Goldin; Cardinal Stritch University (East)
Chase Hodges; Georgia Gwinnett College (South)
Ellie Johnson; Westmont College (West)

ITA Assistant Coach of the Year

Men
Diego Vargas; William Woods University (Central)
Caio Barros; Cardinal Stritch University (East)
Seth Moore; Keiser University (South)
Greg Failla: San Diego Christian University (West)

Women
Chinatsu Kajiwara; William Woods University (Central)
Caio Barros; Cardinal Stritch University (East)
Hannah Keeling; Georgia Gwinnett College (South)
Katrina Failla; San Diego Christian University (West)

Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award

Men
Christopher Vleeming; William Woods University (Central)
Grant Esposito: Indiana Wesleyan University (East)
Federico Herrera Duncan; Georgia Gwinnett College (South)
Enzo Douillac; Arizona Christian University (West)

Women
Paige Smith; William Woods University (Central)
Lizzie Bauss; Indiana Wesleyan University (East)
Madeline Bosnjak; Georgia Gwinnett College (South)
Jen Roux; Lewis-Clark State College (West)

ITA Rookie of the Year

Men
Raul Rivero; Bethany College (Central)
Simon Campos; Union College (East)
Santiago Perez; Xavier University of Louisiana (South)
Joseph Henry; Westmont College (West)

Women
Emilia Schorghuber; Southwestern College (Central)
Jessica Hernandez; Cumberland University) (East)
Priya Sukkanha; SCAD Savannah (South)
Emily Peterson; Westmont College (West)

ITA Player to Watch

Men
Oscar Barriero; William Woods University (Central)
Eli Steiner; Indiana Wesleyan University (East)
Federico Bonacia; Georgia Gwinnett College (South)
Theo Preiswerk; Arizona Christian University (West)

Women
Ana Zavala; William Woods University (Central)
Brenda Aguilar; Campbellsville University (East)
Emerald Able; Georgia Gwinnett College (South)
Miah Webb; Marymount California University (West)

ITA Most Improved Senior

Men
Michael Moody; Kansas Wesleyan University (Central)
Axel Lucich; Cumberland University (East)
Gabriel Niculescu; Xavier University of Louisiana (South)
Daniel Superlano; (Arizona Christian University (West)

Women
Karyna Sagalai; William Woods University (Central)
Bolor Enkhbayar; Campbellsville University (East)
Maria Prados Cid; Georgia Gwinnett College (South)
Isabel Lee; Westmont College (West)

ITA Senior Player of the Year

Men
Javier Callejo; William Woods University (Central)
Will True; Campbellsville University (East)
Rafael Coutinho; Georgia Gwinnett College (South)
Kyle Rae; Hope International University (West)

Women
Felicia Cesar; William Woods University (Central)
Alex Mella; Indiana Wesleyan University (East)
Emily Chang; University of Mobile (South)
Aleksandra Emelianova; San Diego Christian College (West)

ITA Community Service Award

Men
Southwestern College (Central)
Judson University (East)
Tennessee Wesleyan University (South)
Lewis-Clark College (West)

Women
Southwestern College (Central)
Indiana Wesleyan University (East)
William Carey University (South)
Lewis-Clark State College (West)


The NAIA Championships are scheduled for May 14-18 at the Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.

About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow. As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA oversees men’s and women’s varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College divisions. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men’s and women’s 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 on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram.www.itatennis.com .