Wilson ITA Coach of the Year
Kate Bayard | Tufts University
Despite having a shortened season due to Covid-19, Coach Bayard’s Jumbos made the most of their season. The Tufts Women’s Tennis team finished with a 9-2 record and ranked No. 3 in the nation. Coach Bayard led her program to the semifinals of the NCAAs where they fell to eventual champion Emory. Individually, Bayard guided her players to great success. Sophomore Tilly Rigby reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles tournament before falling to the eventual champion. She finished ranked No. 5 nationally. Alongside Rigby, two other Jumbos received ITA All-American honors.
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year
Andrew Gregory | DePauw University
DePauw Women’s Tennis finished the 2021 season ranked No. 38 in the nation — an impressive feat and much of it had to do with Andrew Gregory’s coaching. Gregory was hired as the assistant women’s coach 10 years ago and quickly became an indispensable part of the program. From bench coaching to strength and conditioning to mental toughness training techniques, Gregory is always researching and learning new ways to improve the program.
ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award
Jordan Besh | Sewanee
Jordan Besh’s resilience and positive attitude has defined her time as part of the Sewanee tennis program. Despite dealing with multiple ankle surgeries and a broken radius during her time with the team, Besh continued to be a fierce competitor. Through her challenges, Besh helped lead the Tigers to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Team Championship. She currently holds a 16-9 singles record and 15-4 doubles record. In 2019, she was named to the Southern Athletic Association All-Sportsmanship Team and Honorable Mention on the All-SAA Team.
ITA Rookie of the Year Award
Erica Ekstrand | Williams College
You can not put together a much better rookie season than Erica Ekstrand’s. The Williams freshman ended her season hot – not dropping a set throughout the NCAA team or singles competition – and as the NCAA Singles Champion. Erica ended her first year as an Eph with a 10-1 record and with six wins overs student-athletes who finished in the top 20 of the final Oracle ITA Rankings. She was named an ITA Singles All-American and was named a finalist for the DIII Honda Athlete of the Year.
ITA Most Improved Senior Award
Risa Fukushige | Skidmore College
Risa Fukushige’s transformation from first stepping foot on the courts as a Skidmore freshman to ending her career as a four-time ITA All-American is remarkable. Her freshman year Risa was constantly competing for a spot in the lineup and at times dropped out of the doubles lineup. Despite struggling early in the season, Risa showed improvement during the end and put together a 16-9 record. The next three years Risa’s work ethic was on full display and the results were clear to see.
ITA Senior Player of the Year
Ysabel Gonzalez Rico | Emory University
Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico was an integral part of the powerhouse Emory Women’s tennis program this year. In their run to their 8th NCAA title, Gonzalez-Rico had an outstanding run – not dropping a set the entire tournament. Her leadership and work ethic set the tone and expectation for the team. She finished the season 11-2 in singles and 16-0 in doubles. In the rankings, she finished No. 2 in singles and No. 1 in doubles. Alongside partner Katie Chang, Gonzalez-Rico won the NCAA Doubles Championship.