TEMPE, Ariz. – The Columbus State University men’s and women’s tennis programs were recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association for their work in the classroom during the 2016-17 academic year.
Both were named ITA All-Academic Teams for the fourth straight year, while eight student-athletes were selected as Scholar Athletes. Matei Avram, John Wesley Carlson, Maciej Kierkus, KP Pannu and Jorge Vargas were named Scholar Athletes for the men, with Kirsa Utech, Giorgia Vitale and Rachael Williams garnering recognition on the women’s side.
The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above (on a 4.00 scale). All varsity letter winners were factored into the cumulative team GPA for the current academic year (including fall 2016 and spring 2017).
In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status a player must meet the following criteria: 1.) be a varsity letter winner, 2.) have a grade point average of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year, and 3.) have been enrolled at their present school for at least 2 semesters (including freshman through senior year).
The Columbus State tennis programs had a banner 2017 season, with each capturing the Peach Belt Conference regular season and tournament championships. The Cougars reached the national semifinals for the third time in program history, while the Lady Cougars made it to the quarterfinals for the fifth time. Both programs finished the season with their highest final ranking in program history with the men third and women fourth in the country.