ITA NCAA Division II National Award Winners Announced


ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. (May 20) – The 2019 ITA NCAA Division II men’s and women’s national award winners were announced at a banquet on Monday prior to the start of the national championships that begin Tuesday at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla. 

The ITA handed out awards in the following categories: Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year, ITA Assistant Coach of the Year, Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award, ITA Rookie of the Year, ITA Player to Watch, ITA Most Improved Senior and Senior Player of the Year.

2019 ITA Award Winners

Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year
Men:
Joshua Cobble (Cameron University)
Women: Michael Cabana (Wingate University)

ITA Assistant Coach of the Year
Men: Fabio Minami (Queens College NY)
Women: Vanessa Taveras (Texas A&M Kingsville)

Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award
Men:
Robin Moeller (Georgia College) 
Women: Paolo Carpio (Saint Edward’s University)

ITA Rookie of the Year
Men:
Bruno Faletto (Saint Leo’s University)
Women: Isabella Dunlap (University of Central Oklahoma)

ITA Player to Watch
Men:
Angel Palacios (Midwestern State University)
Women: Jill Van Den Dungen (Southwest Baptist University)

ITA Most Improved Senior
Men:
Raul Caballero (Southwest Baptist University)
Women: Carolin Schmidt (Barry University)

ITA Senior Player of the Year
Men:
KP Pannu (Columbus State)
Women: Leolia Jeanjean (Lynn University)

The Following are capsules on each award recipient.

Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year

Joshua Cobble (Cameron University)

Josh Cobble, who is in his second year with the Cameron men’s tennis program has guided the Aggies to a 17-3 overall record, undefeated season in the South Central region and a No. 1 regional ranking. The honor marks the third time in his career that Cobble has been honored as National Coach of the Year, previously being recognized as the 2011 and 2012 National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) while leading the Cowley College women’s and men’s teams, respectively. Cameron is currently lead by senior Vinicius Santos, who is ranked No. 6 nationally in the current ITA Rankings. The Aggies’ senior has also partnered with Julen Gutierrez to form the 15th-ranked doubles team. Cameron has produced a major improvement from the 2018 season when it finished 9-11 and unranked.

Michael Cabana (Wingate University)
Michael Cabana has the Bulldogs in the top 10 for the first time in program history and ranked atop the NCAA Southeast Region for the first time in women’s tennis history. Wingate won the South Atlantic Conference Tournament title and enters NCAA Tournament play at 21-1. The Bulldogs have won 13 league championships over the past eight seasons and has won a conference-record 76 consecutive regular season SAC matches. Cabana has earned SAC Coach of the Year honors on the men’s and women’s side a combined 14 times since 2009, including eight times on the women’s side He has had league Players of the Year, SAC Elite 20 winners, SAC Scholar-Athletes, Academic All-America honorees, ITA Arthur Ashe Award winners and ITA Scholar-Athletes in recent years. 

ITA Assistant Coach of the Year

Fabio Minami (Queens College NY)

For the second time in his career, Fabio Minami has been named ITA Assistant Coach of the Year after providing a leadership role under head coach Somadi Drunker and helping guide Queens College NY to a 13-7 record. He previously earned the honor in 2017. Minami is in hist fifth season with the program.

Vanessa Taveras (Texas A&M Kingsville)
Head coach Autumn Williams on Vanessa Tavares: “Vanessa has held a rigorous graduate school schedule while acting as our assistant coach. Her professionalism during matches has grown in the last two years. She has been instrumental in our success as a team. On the court, she has used her experience as a professional athlete to help our ladies. Vanessa brings intensity and a lot of knowledge. She has successfully coached players through some very tough situations and matches. Off the court, she is dedicated to seeing every member of this team succeed. She keeps up with the ladies’ academics, class attendance, schedules and community service events. She came in with the goal of eventually becoming a head coach one day. I believe she has taken her role very seriously by staying engaged and soaking up lessons not just from myself, but also other coaches as well.”

Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award

Robin Moeller (Georgia College) 

Junior Robin Moeller has excelled on the court and contributed significantly off it and as a result was honored as Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award. On the court, Moeller, a native of Hamburg, Germany, is ranked 17th in the nation while posting a 16-2 singles and 15-2 mark in doubles play. He has posted 75 career wins (37 singles, 38 doubles) in two seasons and capped the regular season by garnering first team All-Peach Belt Conference in doubles and singles and was named to the conference’s All-Academic Team. 

A 2018 ITA Scholar Athlete, Moeller has been a Peach Belt Conference Scholar and on either the President or Dean’s List every semester while at Georgia College. 

“Robin’s professionalism and dedication to his athletic and academic career is second to none since I have been at Georgia College,” Bobcats head coach Steve Barsby said. “His leadership has propelled what I consider an average team in Division II to a top 25 program this spring. He also pushes his teammates daily to work hard on their academics. He was just named the Georgia College Senior Athlete of the Year which is a testament to the quality of person he is on and off the court.”

Paolo Carpio (Saint Edward’s University)
On the court, Paolo Carpio has recorded 20-5 singles mark and 23-6 doubles record. Among her victories was a win in the consolation bracket of the ITA South Central Regional. She has a career singles record of 56-36 and 44-22 mark in doubles play. She has earned 2018 first team All-Heartland Conference honors, 2017 D2-ADA Academic Achievement Award and 2017 Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar.

Carpio’s off-the-court activities include serving as Vice President of the SEU Economics Club, Community Service Women’s Tennis Leader and four-year Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member. 

“Paola is one the most mature, respectful, fun, passionate and hard-working players I have ever coached,” head coach Kendall Brooks said of the native from San Salvador, El Salvador. “Since the day she arrived on campus, from another country mind you, she has done whatever is asked of her and has asked for nothing in return. She immediately bought in to the culture of our team and of our University and is the perfect example of who we would want representing not only SEU, but college athletes in general.”


ITA Rookie of the Year

Bruno Faletto (Saint Leo’s University)

The Lions freshman has recorded a 25-6 overall mark and a dual match record of 19-3 while playing at the No. 1 singles position. He helped Saint Leo reach a highest team national ranking of No. 4 in the country and a season-high singles ranking of No. 9 on April 24. His best wins include a victory over No. 3 Serdar Bojadjiev (West Florida), No. 12 Valetin Masse (Hawaii Pacific) and No. 13 Nico De Fraia (Rollins). Bruno also captured Flight 1 of the PBA Sailfish Invitational that included top players from Lynn, Barry, Rollins, and ASA Miami in the fall. He defeated Kay Bartmann in the finals of his draw. Earlier this month, Bruno was named Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year.

Isabella Dunlap (University of Central Oklahoma)
Isabella Dunlap captured the Central region ITA Fall Championship and was an ITA Cup finalist. She is currently ranked fifth in the ITA national rankings and No. 16 in doubles. Playing at No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles, Dunlap has helped the Bronchos to a current No. 7 national ranking while posting 19-10 singles record.

ITA Player to Watch

Angel Palacios (Midwestern State University)

Angel Palacios became 13th-member of Midwestern State’s 100-win club following a doubles win over Washburn. With No. 2 ITA singles ranking on March 27, Palacios became highest-ranked singles player in program history, holding the ranking for six consecutive weeks. He has posted an overall record of 31-11, including a 16-5 mark in singles and 15-6 record in doubles. His 16 wins (16-5) at the No. 1 position are the fifth-most on the program’s single-season list. Partnered with Denney Norrie at No. 3 doubles to post a 14-5 record. Palacios ranks 12th all-time with 51 career singles wins and his .729 (51-19) winning percentage is the seventh-best in team history. He also ranks fourth with 19 career wins at No. 1 singles flight and seventh with a .685 (50-23) doubles winning percentage, while ranking second all-time with 38 doubles wins at the No. 3 spot.

Jill Van Den Dungen (Southwest Baptist University)
Jill is currently ranked No. 3 and No. 7 in the ITA national singles and doubles rankings, respectively. She advanced to the finals of the ITA Central Regional singles tournament and is 12-5 while playing at No. 1. Dungen is 11-6 while playing at No. 1 doubles spot. 

ITA Most Improved Senior

Raul Caballero (Southwest Baptist)

Raul Caballero played at the No. 5 singles spot as a freshman, moved to No. 4 as a sophomore and No. 2 as a junior. As a senior, Caballero has played 15 matches at the No. 1 position, posting a winning record that included a victory over During his senior year he played 15 matches on the #1 spot and he had a positive record and a big win against Drury’s Nico Hadeler, who is ranked in the top 10 nationally. After losing in the first round of the ITA Regional Championship as a freshman, Caballero reached the quarterfinals as a junior and advanced to the semifinals as a senior. In addition to his solid work on the court, Caballero has also excelled in the classroom, posting a 3.82 GPA and is a member of the Delta Mu Delta honor society.

Carolin Schmidt (Barry University)
Carolin Schmidt has recorded a 15-1 overall record, including a 10-1 mark in the first flight. She is ranked No. 30 in the ITA national rankings. Schmidt recorded a 19-0 record as junior, playing primarily at the No. 4 and No. 5 positions. She has served as team captain during her senior season. 

ITA Senior Player of the Year

KP Pannu (Columbus State)

As a senior, KP Pannu helped lead the Cougars to a 25-2 overall record as the top-ranked team in the nation. He went 23-1 this season in singles play with all 24 of his matches played at the top spot. His only loss on the season in singles came to the second-ranked individual player in a third set tiebreaker. Since then he has won 20 in a row, including 19 straight set wins at the top court this year. Pannu mainly played at second doubles this season amassing an overall record of 20-5, including having won six of the last seven with his new partner Tommaso Schold. The native of Wellington, New Zealand took home Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season and was an all-conference selection for the fourth consecutive year.

Leolia Jeanjean (Lynn University)
Leolia Jeanjean has a 19-0 overall record, including 9-0 record in Sunshine State Conference play while playing No. 1 singles. She has not lost a set all season and is 7-0 against nationally ranked opponents. Jeanjean has been ranked as high as No. 7 during the season and was tabbed Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year. She earned four SSC Player of the Week selections. Jeanjean went 23-0 overall (9-0 SSC) in doubles, with 22 wins at #1 doubles. Played three years of Division I tennis before coming to Lynn. Led Lynn to a current No. 1 national ranking and a 22-0 record. 

The NCAA Division II Championships are scheduled for May 21-25 at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla. 

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 @ITA_Tennis on Twitter and Instagram.www.itatennis.com.