The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is proud to announce the selection of Gustavus Adolphus College for the 2024 ITA Division III Men’s Steve Wilkinson Team Sportsmanship Award. Introduced in 2015, the Steve Wilkinson Team Sportsmanship Award is dedicated to the memory of long-time Gustavus Golden Gusties head coach and founder of Tennis & Life Camps, Steve Wilkinson.

Awarded each year following the conclusion of the ITA Division III National Men’s Team Indoor Championships, the ITA Division III Steve Wilkinson Team Sportsmanship Award is presented to the team that displays exceptional sportsmanship, character, and ethical conduct during the national championship event.

“We are truly honored and humbled to receive the Steve Wilkinson Sportsmanship Award from our peers at this year’s ITA National Indoor Championships,” stated current Gustavus Adolphus Men’s Tennis Head Coach, Tommy Valentini. “Sportsmanship is a top priority in our program, and to be recognized by our colleagues for living out the value of sportsmanship on the national stage in a field of such excellent and competitive programs means the world to us. It’s a privilege to be a part of this prestigious event, and we’re grateful to both the ITA and Sewanee for hosting a great national championship for our student-athletes to enjoy. Division III tennis is a special community – that was again on full display at National Indoors – and we are beyond grateful to be a part of it.”  

Valentini continues, “Obviously this award also is the highest honor because it is in memory of our Coach Wilkinson’s legacy. Coach loved Indoors and was a driving force behind bringing it to Division III. He certainly would have loved and appreciated the high levels of tennis, competition, and sportsmanship that we experienced at this year’s tournament, and he would be very proud of this group of Gusties for competing fiercely while embracing the importance of great sportsmanship. Again, we are beyond grateful for this most meaningful honor.”

At the 2024 ITA Division III Men’s National Team Indoor Championship, Gustavus closed out the weekend with a 1-2 overall record but were highly competitive across all three matches played. After a tough first-round matchup with the eventual champions Emory, the Gusties bounced right back on day two with a 6-1 win over Trinity (TX) which would put them in the fifth place match where they would drop a close match to UChicago. Gustavus currently holds a 7-3 record on the young season and looks poised to be one of the top programs in Division III men’s tennis once again this year.

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