OMAHA, Neb. – The Creighton men’s and women’s tennis teams combined to lead the nation by claiming 15 individual academic awards from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) after the 2012-13 season.
The Bluejays placed a combined 15 honorees on the 2013 ITA Scholar-Athlete list, tied for first place nationally with fellow BIG EAST school, DePaul. Both of the Creighton programs also took home the ITA All-Academic Team award for a sixth straight season.
"I am very proud of how hard our teams work on and off the court,” said head tennis coach Tom Lilly. “Both of our teams continue to do amazing things in the classroom and our academics is always first and foremost. To have this many players achieve one of our yearly goals makes me honored to coach at Creighton."
The men’s team as a whole amassed a 3.57 cumulative GPA to finish the 2012-13 school year. It marked the eighth time in the last nine seasons that the Bluejay men claimed the team award as well as multiple individual honors. Creighton joins Baylor, Gardner-Webb, Stanford, Winthrop and Yale as one of six schools honored in each of the past six years.
Senior Billy Paluch and departed senior Ryan Norman each earned a third ITA Scholar-Athlete honor while fellow departed senior Sean Mathison claimed his second career accolade. Five teammates joined them on the award listing for the first time: Elliott Baker, Brandon Lee, Anthony Rauschenbach, Nick Thompson and Sam Wells. Rauschenbach finished the year with a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA.
Creighton’s eight individual selections tied for third-most nationally on the men's side. Cornell led the way with 11 honors while Yale finished second with 10. The Bluejays tied IPFW, Saint Joseph’s and Stanford in third place.
The Bluejay women also earned an ITA Academic Team honor for a sixth straight campaign. The Creighton women's tennis team posted a team GPA of 3.73 last year, best in the school’s athletic department. It marked the ninth time in the last 10 seasons that the Bluejay women earned the team award as well as multiple individual honors.
Seven Bluejay women earned a spot on the ITA Scholar Athlete list. Five CU players earned their second career honor including departed senior Anna Kirshenbaum, as well as Jennie Hartjes, Amanda Noonan, Analese Snyder and Liz Vermillion. Hartjes maintained a 4.0 cumulative GPA last season. Two Bluejay freshmen made the list for the first time: Sam Anderson and Karlin Naslund.
Creighton’s seven individual selections tied for sixth-most nationally on the women's side. Belmont led the country with 14 women honored.
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 eligible student-athletes whose names appear on the NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA/CA JUCO eligibility form and have competed in one or more varsity matches must average into the GPA for the current academic year (including fall 2012 and spring 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 two semesters (including freshman through senior year).