TEMPE, Ariz. – The 2019 ITA and Steve Wilkinson Team Sportsmanship awards have been bestowed upon the women of Washington University in St. Louis and the men of Gustavus Adolphus College, respectively, following a vote from a panel of the 16 head coaches who participated in the two tournaments.
Although WashU fell early in the championship tournament to No. 1 and eventual runner-up Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, the Bears picked up a hard-fought win on their second day in Nashville, Tennessee, when they defeated MIT, 5-4.
The honor gives Washington University in St. Louis consecutive Sportsmanship Awards as 14-year head coach Kelly Stahlhuth’s squad also received the decoration in 2018.
The ITA Team Sportsmanship Award, in its fifth year of existence, is presented to the team that displays exceptional sportsmanship, character and ethical conduct during the national championship.
The Steve Wilkinson Team Sportsmanship Award will return to the school where its namesake built a legacy in Saint Peter, Minnesota’s, Gustavus Adolphus College.
The Steve Wilkinson Team Sportsmanship Award was introduced in 2015 and is dedicated to the memory of long-time Golden Gusties head coach and founder of Tennis & Life Camps, Steve Wilkinson.
This year’s recipients from Gustavus Adolphus are led by 10-year head coach Tommy Valentini and went 2-1 on the weekend in Cleveland, Ohio.
After a tight quarterfinal defeat to six-seed Pomona Pitzer, the Gusties flipped a switch and took down Whitman (7-2) and host Case Western Reserve (5-0) to end the championship weekend on a high note.
The award is presented to the team that has displayed exceptional sportsmanship, character and ethical conduct in the true spirit of competition and college tennis during the ITA Division III National Men’s Team Indoor Championship each year.
Congratulations to the women of @WashUwTennis and the men of @GACMensTennis who both receive the 2019 Steve Wilkinson ITA Team Sportsmanship Awards.— ITA Tennis (@ITA_Tennis) March 12, 2019