Trinity, Vanderbilt Receive ITA National Team Sportsmanship Awards

The Trinity men's and Vanderbilt women's tennis teams have been honored as May's recipients of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Sportsmanship Award, the ITA announced recently.

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.

Trinity University is a NCAA Division III school, coached by Russell McMindes, and is located in San Antonio, Texas.

"At Trinity, dating back to well before I was a player for Butch Newman, our philosophies have always been about personal growth and development as a priority over on-court success," said Head Coach Russell McMindes. "I believed in that, and made it my goal to carry that philosophy forward during my tenure as head coach. We don't do it to win awards, we do it to hopefully impact our players in a positive way and prepare them for the journey of life."

"Just by following these principles, we hold our players to the highest standards of sportsmanship," explained McMindes. "We believe in doing things the right way and a way you can be proud of. We have great captains who lead by example and I couldn't be happier that their efforts were recognized with an award such as this."

Vanderbilt University is a NCAA Division I school, coached by Geoff MacDonald and is located in Nashville, Tennessee.

"This award is such a great honor," said Head Coach Geoff MacDonald. "We talk a lot about handling adversity with class, about respecting the game of tennis and being very tough competitors who are scrupulously fair. It's such a superb game for building character and doing things the right way. My team is class personified, and I'm honored to coach them.

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.

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