Wilson ITA Coach of the Year
Melinda Descant | LSU Alexandria
Melina Descant from LSU Alexandria has been named the 2023 Wilson ITA Coach of the Year. Coach Descant’s teams are always leading the academic charge in the department, averaging over a 3.7 GPA the past two years and a graduation rate of over 90%. Coach Descant has had an incredible run the past two years not having lost a regular season match going 15-0 in 2022 and 12-0 in 2023. She led the Generals to their highest ranking in 2022 at #3 and has sustained that ranking throughout most of 2023, going into the NAIA National tournament as the #4 seed.
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year
Jessica Simeri | Holy Cross College
Jessica Simeri from Holy Cross College has been named the 2023 ITA Assistant Coach of the Year. Jessica played an intricate role in the rise of the Holy Cross Women’s tennis program. This year, she helped guide the women to their first ever national tournament bid.
ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship
Bonolo Molefe | Lewis-Clark State College
Bonolo Molefe from Lewis-Clark State College has been named the 2023 ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership Award winner. Molefe joined LC State in the spring of 2020 as a freshman from Botswana. It was a dream for her to finally be in the US college system. On the court, she has learned to transition from playing tennis as an individual sport to one of a team culture. Her experience and maturity has led her to play a mentorship role to some of the new players to the team.
ITA Rookie of the Year
Yvette Schmucker | Keiser University
Yvette Schmucker from Keiser University has been named the 2023 ITA Rookie of the Year. Schmucker accumulated the most total wins by a freshman in program history of Keiser Women’s Tennis. She was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation in singles and No. 3 in the nation in doubles. She stayed in the Top Ten nationally in singles and doubles the entire season. She was the ITA Cup Singles National Championship Runner-Up and was a semifinalist in doubles.
ITA Most Improved Senior and Senior Player of the Year
Candela Bonivardi | LSU Alexandria
Candela Bonivardi has from LSU Alexandria has been named the 2023 ITA Most Improved Senior and the Senior Player of the Year. Bonivardi came to LSUA in 2020, after spending her first year at Florida National University. She started out playing in the No. 5 slot for the Generals her Sophomore year and quickly worked her way up to playing the No. 1 spot for Coach Melinda Descant the past two years. In 2022, Bonivardi was named the RRAC Player of the week, First Team RRAC All Conference and Honorable Mention All-American en route to a No. 3 national ranking and semifinal finish at the national tournament. In 2023, Bonivardi was named First Team RRAC All Conference for a second consecutive year.