With all five divisions in college tennis back to competing, the UTR ITA Player of the Week awards were given out to 10 student-athletes – five men and five women – this week to celebrate their success. All of the recipients had an outstanding week of play and shined for their respective teams. Their success was reflected in the change in their UTR — which was as large as a 0.47 increase.
The UTR ITA Player of the Week award is entering year two of being awarded. The UTR ITA Player of the Week awards program honors male and female individuals from all five divisions (NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, and Junior College) with weekly awards during the spring dual-match season.
FMorgan Coppoc | Georgia | Senior | UTR 10.64
0.08 in UTR | UTR profile
Senior Bulldog Morgan Coppoc is finishing her season with a bang. Coppoc played a major role in Georgia’s run to the SEC championship title. She went undefeated in both singles and doubles against Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. In Georgia’s opening round of the SEC tournament, Coppoc blanked Kentucky’s Stevens to become only the third Bulldog to accomplish the feat this season. In the semifinals, Coppoc powered past Tennessee’s Kuczer in straight sets. Saving her best performance for last, Coppoc matched up against the Aggies’ No. 4 Faa-Hviding in the championship match. Coppoc clinched the match – and title – for the Bulldogs with a straight-set victory over Faa-Hviding. Coppoc was named the SEC Tournament MVP for her outstanding play.
Dominic Barretto | Santa Clara | Graduate Student | UTR 12.61
0.10 in UTR | UTR profile
Santa Clara’s Dominic Barretto went undefeated in singles and doubles for the Broncos this week. First, against San Diego State, Barretto clinched the match at the top of the lineup. The grad student downed Johannes Seeman in straight sets. Barretto brought his singles win streak to three straight on Saturday. He defeated San Francisco’s Ricklis in straight sets and was the first Santa Clara player to win their singles match. Earlier in the dual, Barretto and his partner, Dalmasso clinched the doubles point for the Broncos with a 6-3 win over Ricklis/Garpered.
Aleksandra Kistanova | Augustana | Sophomore | UTR 8.16
0.47 in UTR | UTR profile
Augustana’s Aleksandra Kistanova was a steady force for the Vikings throughout their NSIC tournament run. In all three matches, Kistanova and her partner Emily Granson clinched the doubles point for their team. The sophomore started the tournament hot. She blanked Bemidji State’s Rutkowski in the quarterfinals. In the championship match Kistanova came close to blanking Winona State’s Jorgensen, but dropped one point in the second set. Kistanova’s efforts helped the Vikings to their 10th straight NSIC title.
Ivan Bernal | Franklin Pierce | Freshman | UTR 10.86
0.20 in UTR | UTR profile
Franklin Pierce’s Ivan Bernal came up big for the Ravens on Tuesday and clinched their match against Southern New Hampshire to send his team to the championship match of the Northeast-10 Conference championship. After a slow start in the first set, the freshman roared back to clinch the victory in three sets over Janssen. The win against SNHU was Bernal’s eighth straight singles victory. Bernal won out in another three-set battle earlier in the week against Bentley. He narrowly dropped the first set to Bonte, but won out in a second-set tiebreaker to send the match to the third set. The freshman also added three wins in doubles to his resume during the stretch.
Kaeli Smashey | North Central College | Junior | UTR 5.70
0.32 in UTR | UTR profile
North Central’s Kaeli Smashey went undefeated in singles and doubles play for the Cardinals this week. The junior led her teammates to three straight shutouts over Carthage, Carroll, and Illinois Wesleyan. Twice Smashey was the first North Central student-athlete to finish in singles. She clinched the dual against Illinois Wesleyan after downing Girardin 6-1, 6-0. Through her three singles matches, Smashey only allowed 12 points total to her opponents. Carthage’s Ramsey put up the toughest fight, but still fell in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Smashey has won nine of her last 10 singles matches.
Colton Mullins | University of Lynchburg | Graduate Student | UTR 7.85
0.38 in UTR | UTR profile
Lynchburg’s Colton Mullins finished the regular season with a competitive match against Randolph-Macon. The graduate student – who plays at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles for the Hornets – won both his singles and doubles match. Paired with Vincent Oliver, Mullins edged out Hammock/Suescun for his fifth doubles victory of the spring season. In singles play, Mullins matched up against Max Hammock. Randolph-Macon’s No. 1 guy took the first set, but Mullins beared down and came out with the victory in three sets.
Aleks Sadowska | Morningside College | Sophomore | UTR 4.61
0.23 in UTR | UTR profile
Morningside’s Aleks Sadowska continued to be a reliable player in the top half of the Mustangs’ singles lineup. In duals against St. Mary and Mount Marty, Sadowska added wins No. 7 and 8 to her record this season. Against St. Mary, Sadowska and her partner Lewis put the Mustangs on the board after clinching the doubles point. The sophomore then pushed her team within one point of victory with her shutout over Chiasson. Against Mount Marty, she recorded another straight-set victory against Badger.
Nicola Buffo | SCAD Savannah | Sophomore | UTR 9.94
0.24 in UTR | UTR profile
In a tough matchup with Ave Maria, SCAD Savannah’s Nicola Buffo shined. The sophomore was the only Bee to win his matches against the No. 23 ranked Gyrenes. In doubles play, Buffo paired with Davis Clem to down Cirenza and Hofmeister at the No. 2 slot. They were the only doubles duo for SCAD Savannah to take their match. Buffo continued his winning ways into singles. Once again he faced Cirenza. After a three-set battle that saw Buffo drop behind early, the sophomore Bee prevailed to tally the only point for his team.
Chloe Certain | Harford CC | Freshman | UTR 7.41
0.08 in UTR | UTR profile
Harford’s Chloe Certain was a steady force for the Fighting Owls in singles and doubles this week. The freshman plays No. 1 doubles and splits time between No. 1 and 2 singles for Harford. Certain added three singles wins to her record this week including a pivotal victory against Kutztown’s Makarski. Certain’s straight-set victory brought the dual’s score to two-all and gave the Fighting Owls a path to victory. Harford would go on to take the match 4-3. Certain also defeated Mercer County’s No. 1 Zollner and West Chester’s No. 1 Alexander in straight sets. In doubles play, Certain went 3-1 on the week.
Timothy Karpinski | Collin College | Freshman | UTR 10.74
0.32 in UTR | UTR profile
Collin College’s Timothy Karpinski swept his singles matches against UT Dallas and Southeastern Oklahoma State this week. Playing at No. 3 singles in both duals, Karpinski showed both his dominance and grit. Against Southeastern Oklahoma State, Karpinski went up early, but Orduz was able to take the second set. The two went back and forth in a tight third set tiebreak, but ultimately Karpinski emerged with the win. It was a different story against UT Dallas’ Ganesan. The freshman routed Ganesan winning 6-1, 6-1.
ITA UTR Player of the Week Criteria
The ITA UTR Player of the Week honors a collegiate tennis player whose increase in UTR rating throughout the previous week was indicative of his/her high level of performance, including notable wins such as clinching matches and upsets.