The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the NAIA Women National Award recipients on Thursday morning during the 2020 ITA National Awards Ceremony presented by Oracle. The recipients are outstanding representatives of college tennis’s strong athletic tradition and commitment to excellence on and off the court. The ITA is proud to continue our tradition of honoring and illuminating the success of our student-athletes!
The NAIA Women’s awards include Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship, ITA Rookie of the Year, ITA Player to Watch, ITA Most Improved Senior, and ITA Senior Player of the Year. The national winners were selected from the regional award winners by the NAIA National Awards Committee.
Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award
Cade Pierson, Westmont College
Westmont’s Cade Pierson excels on and off the court. At the end of the 2020 season, she was the No. 5 singles player, and No. 11 doubles in the Oracle ITA Rankings. Her performance on the court earned her ITA All-American honors in singles. Pierson served as team captain in her junior and senior year and was awarded the Cliff Hamlow Champion of Character Award. Outside of competition, Pierson volunteers with the Special Olympics tennis tournament and she volunteers with the Santa Barbara High School tennis team as a coach.
ITA Player to Watch Award
Tereza Koplova, Georgia Gwinnett College
Playing on a loaded Georgia Gwinnett team, Tereza Koplova has made a name for herself in NAIA Women’s tennis. After an undefeated spring in singles and doubles, Koplova finished at No. 9 in singles in the Oracle ITA Rankings. Koplova was named an ITA All-American in singles. During fall play, defeated the No. 4 singles player in the country and advanced to the singles semifinals at the ITA Cup. She finished the fall ranked as the No. 4 singles player in the nation.
ITA Rookie of the Year Award
Selina Pichler, Georgia Gwinnett College
Georgia Gwinnett’s Selina Pichler had an outstanding first year with the Grizzlies. Pichler finished No. 11 in singles and No. 8 in doubles in the final Oracle ITA Rankings. Her spectacular first season also earned her ITA All-American status in both singles and doubles. Pichler did not drop a set the entire season and posted a 9-0 singles record for GGC while playing against some of the top talent in the country. In doubles, she went 9-1 over her freshman campaign.
ITA Most Improved Senior Award
Emerald Able, Georgia Gwinnett College
As a freshman, Emerald Able started at the No. 6 spot for the Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies. In her senior season, Able was cemented as one of the top NAIA Women doubles players. She finished as part of the No. 2 doubles team in the Oracle ITA Rankings. Her outstanding doubles play earned her ITA All-American status for her senior season.
ITA Senior Player of the Year Award
Madeline Bosnjak, Georgia Gwinnett College
Madeline Bosnjak finished her senior season at the top of NAIA Women’s tennis. Bosnjak was ranked No. 3 in singles and No. 2 in doubles in the final Oracle ITA Rankings for the year. This season she posted a perfect 17-0 combined record to cement herself as the top senior player in NAIA. In the fall, Bosnjak advanced to the ITA Cup doubles finals and the semifinals of singles. The previous fall she won the ITA Cup singles. Bosnjak was named a 2020 ITA All-American in both singles and doubles.
See also: ITA National Awards: NAIA Men