CHATTANOOGA, TN (gomocs.com) ---The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s tennis team earned the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s All-Academic Team Award this week. This makes the Mocs one of just 48 schools in the country, and the only one in the Southern Conference, who had both its men’s and women’s tennis programs earn ITA team recognition for work in the classroom.
The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any member program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above (on a 4.00 scale). All student-athletes whose names appear on the eligibility form and have competed in one or more varsity match must average into the GPA for the current academic year.
The Mocs posted a 3.26 team GPA for the year, earning the program’s second ITA All-Academic Team honor. It is the first team recognition for UTC since 2002.
“I am very proud of our team for this achievement,” stated head coach Carlos Garcia. “It takes a lot of hard work and everyone has to be on the same page to earn this type of recognition. It is great to see our guys’ efforts receive recognition.”
In addition to the team award, three Mocs earned ITA Scholar Athlete honors. Gino Delavalle, Pavels Grigorjevs and Michael Birnbaum were recognized individual for their work in the classroom. Three Mocs on the ITA Scholar Athlete list in one year ties the program record set in 2013.
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.
"At its core, college tennis is about higher education! And, our sport has always been a leader when it comes to high performing scholar-athletes," said Timothy Russell, Chief Executive Officer of the ITA. "This group represents the best of the best, as do their coaches who regularly serve as such great teachers and mentors of our sport's finest young people. Hearty and well-deserved congratulations coupled with loud cheers go out to all of these superstars of intercollegiate athletics."