TEMPE, Ariz. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association recognized the 2018 Division II National Award winners on Monday, May 7, 2018, at the 2018 Division II NCAA Tennis Championships in Surprise, Arizona.
Wilson ITA Coach of the Year: Evan Isaacs, Columbus State University
tasc Performance ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Daniel Rockhill, Concordia College
ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Pietro da Silva, Palm Beach Atlantic University
ITA Rookie of the Year: Alvaro Regalado, Columbus State University
ITA Player to Watch: Pierre Montrieul, Barry University & Jeremiah Gonzalez, St. Mary’s University (TX)
ITA Most Improved Senior: Nils Hoffacker, University of Indianapolis
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Thomas Grinberg, Saint Leo University
Isaacs, the Wilson ITA Coach of the Year, has had a record-setting year, guiding the men’s team to a No. 3 national ranking with a record of 22-3. Columbus State is 12-3 against nationally-ranked opponents, and 14-3 versus regionally-ranked teams. Isaacs’s top player, KP Pannu, was the first Cougar to win the ITA Southeast Regional championship in singles and doubles. Pannu went on to win the Division II singles championship at the 2017 ITA Oracle Cup and earned the No. 1 national ranking in singles as a result. Issacs was named the 2018 PBC Coach of the Year.
The tasc Performance ITA Assistant Coach of the Year, Rockhill has served as Assistant Coach at Concordia College for 20 years. Both of Rockhill’s parents coached the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Concordia in the 1960’s. This season, Rockhill has helped guide the men’s team to a No. 25 national ranking and a No. 1 Eastern Region ranking. The team finished the season undefeated in CACC play, winning the conference championship.
The ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award recipient, da Silva has received ITA Scholar-Athlete awards in all three years on campus and helped Palm Beach Atlantic achieve ITA All-Academic team honors the last two years. da Silva has also received both Provost’s List and Athletic Director Honor Rolls during his five semesters at PBA. This year, da Silva has served as cardio tennis coach for the university’s recreation department. He’s served as co-team captain and been a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). On the court, da Silva led the team in both singles and doubles victories. He finished the regular season with a record of 16-6 at No. 3 and 4 singles, and a 16-3 mark in doubles.
Regalado made an immediate impact on the Columbus State University men’s tennis team and is the 2018 ITA Rookie of the Year. He has a 19-1 record in singles, along with a 23-2 mark in doubles. He was a semifinalist in singles and doubles at the 2017 ITA Southeast Regional Championships. Regalado was named first All-Peach Belt in singles and doubles and recognized as the conference’s Freshman of the Year.
The co-ITA Player to Watch, Montrieul finished his regular season with a record of 11-3 at the No. 1 singles position. He is currently ranked No. 9 nationally in singles. Gonzalez, the 2017 ITA South Central Regional Rookie of the Year, posted a 13-4 mark in singles and 13-5 in doubles in 2018. He won the doubles title at the 2017 ITA South Central Regional Championships.
Hoffacker, the 2018 ITA Most Improved Senior, is 27-4 on the season, with an 18-3 record at No. 1 singles. He was ranked as high as No. 5 in singles this season. Hoffacker won the 2017 ITA Midwest Regional Singles Championship and finished fifth in Division II singles at the 2017 ITA Oracle Cup. The 2018 Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year, Hoffacker is 18-1 at No. 3 doubles. In addition, the team captain sports a 3.98 GA and has made the Dean’s List two straight years. He’s been recognized as the 2018 Albert V. Brinson Award winner, the GLVC Brother James Gaffney Award winner and the GLVC James R Spalding Sportsmanship Award winner.
The 2018 ITA Senior Player of the Year, Grinberg is the No. 1-ranked player in the country. He was a key cog in the Saint Leo lineup, guiding the Lions to the No. 1 ranking during the 2018 season. Grinberg is also ranked No. 2 in doubles with partner Vincent Suillerot. He won the ITA South Region Singles Championship and finished third at the 2017 ITA Oracle Cup in Division II singles. Grinberg has a career record of 43-4 in singles and 37-8 in doubles, all at the top position. He’s been a vocal leader for his team, while also displaying tremendous sportsmanship. He has participated in community service events, such as helping with tennis clinics and Habitat for Humanity.
Wilson ITA Coach of the Year: Lauren Conching, Hawai’i Pacific University
tasc Performance ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Stephen Schram, Barry University
ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Sydney Homan, Wingate University
ITA Rookie of the Year: Candice Paya, Columbus State University
ITA Player to Watch: Beatriz Lopez, Columbus State University
ITA Most Improved Senior: Lara Meccico, Hawai’i Pacific University
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Lena Lutzeier, Hawai’i Pacific University
The 2018 season has been a memorable one for Conching at Hawai’i Pacific, as under her tutelage, the Sharks have earned their first-ever No. 1 national team ranking. Hawai’i Pacific also won the PacWest Conference Championship for the first time in 2018. Conching always ensures her teams compete hard and fair on the courts.
Now in his second year as assistant coach at Barry University, Schram has been honored as the 2018 tasc Performance ITA Assistant Coach of the Year. Barry has yet to lose a match with Schram on the coaching staff, as the team looks to defend its NCAA Division II National Championship. The Buccaneers finished 2017 with a 30-0 mark and are 25-0 in 2018. Schram guided Sonja Larsen to an ITA South Regional Singles Championship and the Division II ITA Oracle Cup title, which earned Larsen a spot in the 2017 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Palm Desert, California.
The 2018 ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award recipient, Homan has been active in the Wingate community in addition to being a key contributor to the women’s tennis team’s success. Homan has volunteered her time giving tennis clinics to Union County children, packed shoeboxes for International Missions, participated in Autism Speaks and Sports Sciences Leadership Academy Virginia Project fundraisers. She’s organized community leaders and public speakers for the local Wingate Physical Therapy Club and served as a nursing home volunteer. ON the court, Homan has posted a 14-4 record in singles, including 8-1 in conference play. She has a 47-12 career record in singles and is 44-19 in doubles, and has helped guide Wingate to three consecutive SAC titles.
The ITA Rookie of the Year, Paya is 20-1 in singles and 15-5 in doubles on the season. She reached the semifinals of the 2017 ITA Southeast Regional Championships in singles. Was named first team All-Peach Belt and the 2018 PBC Freshman of the Year.
Lopez, the 2018 ITA Player to Watch, won the 2017 ITA Southeast Regional Singles Championship and finished third in Division II singles at the 2017 ITA Oracle Cup. Lopez, the 2018 Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year, was a first team All-Conference honoree in singles and doubles her freshman and sophomore years. She’s currently ranked No. 5 in the nation in singles.
With a 17-0 record at No. 2 singles and a No. 9 national ranking, Meccico of Hawai’i Pacific is the ITA Most Improved Senior for 2018. Last year, Meccico was 17-2 at No. 2 singles and finished the year ranked No. 14.
Also from Hawai’i Pacific, Lutzeier is the ITA Senior Player of the Year. The No. 1-ranked player in singles, Lutzeier is 16-1 at No. 1 singles, and also holds a 14-5 record at No. 1 doubles. A transfer from Armstrong State, where she ended 2017 ranked No. 4 in singles and No. 2 in doubles, Lutzeier was named HPU’s Female Athlete of the Year and HPU’s Newcomer of the Year.