TEMPE, AZ – Both the men's and women's University of the District of Columbia tennis teams earned the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team honors, and eight individual Firebird student-athletes from both teams earned ITA Scholar-Athlete awards as announced by the ITA on Tuesday, July 25th.
Each team, under head coach Dickie Mahaffey, had four individual honorees. From the NCAA Division II East Regional qualifying men's team was: Alexis Baguelin, Rok Bozic, Marco Feligioni and Francis Ngobounan. From the East Coast Conference semifinalist women's squad was: Paula Avellan, Estefania Castrillon, Danielle Falco and Dominika Hadnadova.
The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above (on a 4.00 scale). All varsity letter winners were factored into the cumulative team GPA for the current academic year (including Fall 2016 and Spring 2017). The UDC men's tennis team boasts a 3.629 cumulative GPA, and the women's team a 3.574.
In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status, a student-athlete must meet the following criteria: 1. be a varsity letter winner, 2. have a grade point average of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year, and 3. have been enrolled at his or her present school for at least two semesters (including freshman through senior year).
In all, the ITA honored 720 teams and 3,908 student-athletes across all five divisions of college tennis.
Under Mahaffey, the men's and women's tennis teams have earned ITA All-Academic Team distinction twice (2015 and 2017), as well as the East Coast Conference Academic Team of Excellence Award twice (2013 and 2016). There have also been a slew of individual honors including 16 ITA All-Scholar Athlete awardees (eight men, eight women), Tomas Gajdusek's Excellence in Community and Character Award (ECC's highest honor with academic part of the criterion), Miguel Uzcategui's two Capital One CoSIDA 3rd Team Academic All-American honors (2013 and 2014), and three ECC Men's Tennis Scholar Athlete Award winners (Uzcategui, 2013; Brunco Reich, 2012, Gajdusek, 2011).