October UTR/ITA National Players of the Month Announced

UTR ITA Player of the Month (October)
The UTR/ITA National Players of the Month were announced on Tuesday.

TEMPE, Ariz. (November 5) – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced today the UTR/ITA National Players of the Month for October.

The first-year awards program honors individuals from of all five collegiate divisions (NCAA DI, DII, DIII, NAIA and Junior College) each month during the fall and on a weekly basis in the spring. A combination of Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) Powered by Oracle and Oracle ITA National Rankings are utilized to determine the honorees, who are nominated by their institution’s athletics communications directors.

The October honorees include:

NCAA Division I
Men: Yuya Ito (Texas)
Women: Ashley Lahey (Pepperdine)

NCAA Division II
Men: Alejandro Ibanez Gallego (Barry University)
Women: Berta Bonardi (University of West Florida)  

Division III
Men: Boris Sorkin (Tufts University)
Women: Justine Leong (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps)  

Men: Jose Dugo (Georgia Gwinnett College)
Women: Elyse Lavender (Brenau University)  

Men: Oscar Gabriel Ortiz (Seward County Community College)
Women: Tatiana Simova (ASA Miami College)  

The following are capsules on each of the 10 winners.

Yuya Ito (Texas | Sr. | Yokohama, Japan, Calif. | UTR: 14.39 | ITA: No. 4)
Ito won the ITA All-American singles title with five wins in the top 35 and four in the top 25 while only dropping one set, which was 7-5. Three of his wins came against top 20 players, including a two-set victory over No. 10 Sam Riffice (UTR 14.49) of Florida in the ITA All-American Championships final. He did not play singles in the ITA Texas Regional but paired with Christian Sigsgaard to win the doubles title and qualify for the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships.

Ashley Lahey (Pepperdine | Sr. | Hawthorne, Calif. | UTR: 11.91 | ITA: No. 14)
The 19-year old senior repeated as UTR/ITA National Player of the Month after garnering the honor in September. Lahey capped a perfect fall by posting an 11-0 record in October and capturing the Women’s Collegiate Invitational and ITA All-American Championships. Nine of her 11 wins came against ranked opponents, including six in the top 40. Lahey’s final win was a straight-set victory over No. 4 Alexa Graham in the All-American Championships final, marking her second win over the Tar Heel All-American (UTR 11.65) this fall. She opened her season with a win at the Oracle ITA Masters and is currently 16-0 overall.

Alejandro Ibanez Gallego (Barry University)| Jr. | Puertollano, Spain | UTR: 12.91 | ITA: NR)
Won the Division II ITA South Regional and ITA Cup, posting a 10-0 record. Had wins over three players who were ranked in last season’s final Oracle ITA Rankings, including No. 2 Angel Palacios of Midwestern State. His win at the ITA Cup secured an invitation to Oracle ITA National Fall Championships.

Berta Bonardi (University of West Florida) | So. | Pergamino, Buenos Aires | UTR: 9.96 | ITA: NR)
Won the Division II ITA Cup Singles title while posting a 2-1 doubles record with Manon Meulenberg. Defeated Nikol Alekseeva (Indianapolis); 6-3, 6-3 in the finals to qualify for the Oracle ITA Fall Nationals. Posted a 4-0 singles mark.

Boris Sorkin (Tufts University)| Jr. | Saint Petersburg, Russia | UTR: 12.48 | ITA: NR)
Repeated as Division III ITA Cup singles championship after winning the title in 2018. Went 4-0 in singles as well as 2-1 in doubles at the ITA Cup with Josh Belandres. Sorkin honored with the James O’Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award at the ITA Cup. He defeated Middlebury’s Stanley Morris (12.15) in the singles final.

Justine Leong (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) | Fr. | Hong Kong | UTR: 10.47 | ITA: NR)
Won Division III ITA Cup singles and doubles titles, posting an 8-0 singles record and straight-set victories in each match. Partnered with Catherine Allen to claim doubles title. Defeated teammate Allen in singles final to capture the crown and qualify for Oracle ITA National Fall Championships.  

Jose Dugo (Georgia Gwinnett | So. | Cordoba, Spain | UTR: 12.23 | ITA: NR)
Back-to-back UTR/ITA National Player of the Month after being honored for play in September. Went undefeated (12-0) in singles and doubles while competing in the Grizzly Open and ITA Cup. He won three of four singles ITA Cup matches in straight sets to win the NAIA title and qualify for the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. Dugo won four singles matches against opponents from NCAA Division II and Division III schools at the Grizzly Open. He also won four doubles matches against NCAA Division I, II and III opponents during the Grizzly Open. Among his victories at the ITA Cup was a semi-final win over Santiago Perez (Xavier, LA), who concluded the 2018-19 season ranked No. 3 in the final Oracle ITA National Rankings.

Elyse Lavender (Brenau University)| So. | Boynton Beach, Fla. | UTR: 10.61 | ITA: NR)
Won the NAIA ITA Cup to qualify for the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. Lavander defeated top-ranked Madeline Bosnjak (UTR 10.19) of Georgia Gwinnett College in straight sets. She captured the title after topping Georgia Gwinnett’s Maria Genevese in the finals to avenge a loss to Genevese in the finals of the ITA South Regional in September.

Oscar Gabriel Ortiz(Seward County CC | Fr. | Argentina | UTR: 13.07 | ITA: NR)
Ortiz entered the ITA Cup by receiving one of the last at-large bids. He then went on to defeat the No. 3, No. 2 and No. 1 seeds in the draw to capture the ITA Cup and earn a berth into the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships.

Tatiana Simova (ASA Miami | So. | Piestany, Slovakia | UTR: 9.24 | ITA: NR)
Defeated Tyler Junior College’s Lucie Devier (UTR 9.18) in straight sets to win the ITA Cup singles final and qualify for the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. She went 3-0 in singles play and 2-1 in doubles at the ITA Cup.  

About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow. As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA oversees men’s and women’s varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College divisions. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men’s and women’s varsity players, coaches and teams in all divisions, providing recognition for their accomplishments on and off the court. For more information on the ITA, visit the ITA website at www.itatennis.com, like the ITA on Facebook or follow @ITA_Tennis on Twitter and Instagram.

About Universal Tennis Rating
The mission of Universal Tennis is to make tennis more affordable, accessible and fun for all players, regardless of age, gender, and socioeconomic status. At the core is the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR Powered by Oracle), the global gold standard for all tennis players which reflects their current skill level based on actual performance. The company’s UTR Engagement Platform is built on the rating and provides tools and technology for tennis organizers to run engaging, open level-based events and offers players the ability to connect and discover events, players, coaches, clubs and tournaments worldwide. Download the free UTR app for iPhone in the App Store and visit MyUTR.com to learn more.

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