Wilson ITA Coach of the Year
Bryan Shelton | University of Florida
In 2021, Shelton led a program that won its first national championship in school history with a 4-1 win over Baylor at the USTA National Campus in Orlando. In addition to the NCAA title, Shelton’s 2021 squad won the SEC title and junior Sam Riffice was crowned as the NCAA Singles Champion. Shelton was named the SEC Coach of the Year for the third time in his career while also picking up ITA Southeast Regional Coach of the Year accolades as his team’s 26 wins were the second-most in school history and the best mark under Shelton.
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year
Tanner Stump | University of Florida
Florida Associate Head Coach Tanner Stump helped lead the Gators to a historic season. In addition to the program’s first ever NCAA title, Coach Stump coached the team to the SEC regular season title and an undefeated conference schedule. The Gators finished the season 26-2 and recorded seven 7-0 sweeps. The Gators defeated 16 top-25 teams during the 2021 season.
ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award
Andrew Ton | United States Naval Academy
Andrew Ton has been leading the Navy men’s tennis team in different ways every year for the last four years. As a freshman, Andrew played number one for our team which had only been done one other time in the last twenty years. He has held the number one spot for the entirety of his college career. While Andrew’s teammates look to him during competition as our best player, they also know he encapsulates what we expect out of every member of the team in competition. Andrew always brings positive energy to his teammates in matches while always being respectful and fair towards his opponents.
ITA Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award
William Blumberg | University of North Carolina
William Blumberg’s name is synonymous with athletic excellence in the college tennis world, but his work off the court is equally impressive. The three-time team captain is a regular visitor at the UNC Hospital Pediatric Oncology Center. He takes the time to visit with fans, teammates, coaches, and opponents alike. Blumberg has regularly been acknowledged for his sportsmanship. Last season, he was named the Mildred McCaskill award winner by UNC for his excellence in athletics, academics and community service. He is also the only 10-time ITA All-American in history.
ITA Rookie of the Year Award
Johannus Monday | University of Tennessee
Johannus Monday was named a top-eight national seed in the NCAA Singles Championship. He earned a crucial straight-set victory over Georgia’s Tyler Zink (7-6(3), 6-4) to help push Tennessee past No. 11 Georgia, 4-1, and into the NCAA Semifinals. Johannus helped lead UT to its first SEC Title of any kind since 2010 with two dominant straight-set victories over South Carolina’s Connor Thomson (6-0, 6-1) and Florida’s Sam Riffice (6-4, 6-4). He finished the regular season with an incredible 13 victories over ranked opponents and a 31-6 singles record in his first campaign on Rocky Top & earned a 6-4, 7-6 win at No. 1 over Alex Reko in Tennessee’s match vs. Arkansas.
ITA Most Improved Senior Award
Nathan Ponwith | Arizona State University
Nathan made it to the first round of the NCAA singles championship where he lost to eventual tournament champion Sam Riffice of No. 1 Florida. He saw his peak at No. 84 in the Oracle/ITA singles rankings & earned First Team All-Conference honors after going 15-9 in singles and 13-9 in doubles. Nathan won the deciding point in ASU’s Pac-12 Tournament opening match against UCLA, winning three sets to give ASU its first win over the Bruins since the program’s reinstatement and giving UCLA its first-ever first-round exit. Nathan ultimately went 14-9 at No. 1 singles, kicking off the year with a six-match winning streak, while earning seven victories against ranked opponents.
ITA Senior Player of the Year Award
Valentin Vacherot | Texas A&M University
Val Vacherot, the SEC Player of the Year, improved to 85-20 all-time in the Maroon & White in dual matches at the SEC Tournament, tying the program record for dual singles wins with Kimmio Alkio (1982-86) and Greg Hill (1982-85). The right-hander is the league’s only student-athlete to be ranked in the top-five for the entire 2021 season as he posted a team-best 14 ranked wins. Over his time in Aggieland, he has recorded an astonishing 43-6 all-time mark in conference matches including a program-record 19-match conference win streak. Val earned the national No. 4 seed in the NCAA Singles Tournament, solidifying All-American honors for the third time in his collegiate career. He finishes his season with a 25-7 singles record!
ITA National Player of the Year Award
Liam Draxl | University of Kentucky
Liam Draxl was named the first ITA National Player of the Year in program history after finishing atop the final ITA Division I Men’s Singles Rankings on June 2nd, 2021.
Liam Draxl was named the first ITA National Player of the Year in program history after finishing atop the final ITA Division I Men’s Singles Rankings on June 2nd, 2021. Draxl becomes the eighth different ITA Player of the Year from a Southeastern Conference institution and the first honoree since back-to-back winner Matias Boeker of Georgia in 2002, while Kentucky becomes the fifth SEC school to produce an ITA Player of the Year award recipient.