SKILLMAN, N.J. - The Lipscomb men's and James Madison women's tennis teams have been honored as April's recipients of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Sportsmanship Award, the ITA announced today.
The ITA National Team Sportsmanship Award is a monthly award that goes to one men's and one women's team that has exemplified outstanding sportsmanship, character and ethical conduct in the true spirit of competition and collegiate tennis. The winners are selected by the ITA Ethics and Infractions Committee from nominations received from all ITA member institutions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community Colleges). This monthly award began in 2003. In addition to the obvious reasons, sportsmanship and fair play are considered important in college tennis due to the fact that players make their own line calls during a match.
Lipscomb University is a NCAA Division I school, coached by Andrew Harris, and is located in Nashville, TN.
"This is certainly a testament to our players and the type of character they have," said Head Coach Andrew Harris. "All of our guys understand the importance of representing our tennis program with dignity but also representing our university with class. The word we mention a lot is "ambassador" and understanding what it means to represent your program. Whether its fair or not, often times the first time someone meets our players or sees them play is usually the reflection they see our program in. Our team has bought into that in understanding the importance of being an "ambassador" for the Lipscomb tennis program."
James Madison University is also a NCAA Division I school, coached by Maria Malerba and is located in Harrisonburg, VA.
"We are proud to coach a team that acts with honesty and integrity each time they step onto the court," said Assistant Head Coach Courtney Klein. "As coaches, we stress the importance of being respectful toward our opponents and officials and it feels great to be recognized for those qualities that our players have naturally adopted."
"Sportsmanship is part of our recruiting process and makes a big difference in athletes that we consider for our program," added Head Coach Maria Malerba.
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is compromised of nearly 1,700 men's and women's varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 15,000 college varsity student-athletes 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 Web site is www.itatennis.com.
Release provided by ITA Tennis