SKILLMAN, N.J. - The Wheaton College (Mass.) men's and Carleton College women's tennis teams have been honored as the recipients of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Sportsmanship Award for the month of May.
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 2004.
The Wheaton College (Mass.) Lyons, a NCAA Division III program, are coached by Lynn Miller. Miller just completed her 24th season as the head coach of the Wheaton men's program. She is known as a fair and ethical coach who always puts sportsmanship and discipline above wins and losses.
"I was so pleased to hear of the sportsmanship award the Wheaton College (Norton, MA) men's tennis team recently received," explained Miller. "This is quite an honor, and sportsmanship is something we've made an effort to improve upon this year - so I'm glad someone noticed! We've played some hard fought matches with our young team, and are trying to set a solid foundation for the future which emphasizes the positive side of competition and playing for the love of the game. I think most of our players now understand this concept and are trying to demonstrate this in their on-court behavior and approach to the game."
The Carleton College Knights, a NCAA Division III school as well, are led by head coach Luciano Battaglini. Battaglini is in his sixth season at the helm of the Carleton Knights women's team. He has built a reputation as a coach with high morals, always emphasizing the importance of good behavior and fair line calls to his teams while continuing to compete at a high level.
"For the past six years,we have been stressing the importance of working/competing hard while respecting the game and our opponents in the process," stated Battaglini. "For our team, outcomes are not as important as the process of learning the game and adjusting to difficult situations. Winning/losing is not really as important to us as competing hard and sharing this challenge with our opponents. The student-athletes on our team understand that they are representing their families, our college and ultimately themselves when they step on the court and we have very high standards regarding proper behavior. We are very proud to receive this monthly award and we hope to continue working on all facets of this great game."
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 comprised of over 1,500 men's and women's varsity coaches representing more than 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 20,000 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 website is www.itatennis.com.