Six Wingate student-athletes earn ITA Scholar-Athlete laurels
Skillman, N.J.----Six Wingate University women’s tennis student-athletes have earned ITA Scholar-Athlete distinction from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The winners include senior Samantha Alschlager (Indian Trail, N.C.), juniors Kelli Ferguson (Concord, N.C.) and Helen Goreski (Oakville, Ontario), sophomore Olivia Poole (Boca Raton, Fla.) and freshmen Tiffany Williams (Cary, N.C.) and Sarah Martin (Chardon, Ohio).
In addition, the Wingate women’s tennis squad was named an ITA All-Academic Team for 2011-12. The Bulldogs compiled a 3.435 team GPA during the previous academic year. In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status, a player 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 previous academic year and 3.) have been enrolled at their present institution for at least two semesters (including freshman thorough senior year).
The Wingate women (18-5 overall) won their second consecutive Food Lion SAC tournament this year, topping Anderson (S.C.) 5-1 in the championship match. Wingate’s back-to-back SAC tournament titles gave them automatic NCAA play-off qualifications in 2011 and 2012. The Bulldogs also claimed the last two SAC regular season crowns.
“I am very proud of our women’s tennis team and its accomplishments both on and off the court,” Wingate head coach Michael Cabana says. “It is an honor and a great achievement to be an ITA All-Academic Team for the third year in a row. The ladies on this team work very hard in the classroom…this recognition for their significant effort feels great.”
Alschlager compiled a 3.781 GPA during the 2011-12 academic year. She graduated with honors during Wingate’s May Commencement Exercises. Wingate’s lone senior, Alschlager served as a doubles specialist for the Bulldogs this year. She earned seven victories in 10 tries. Alschlager teamed with sophomore Morgan Winston (Lawrenceville, Ga.) to earn a huge doubles triumph at number 16 Georgia College on March 7.
Ferguson was named to the Capital One Academic All-District III women’s at-large team for the second year in a row. In addition, she won the 2012 SAC Scholar-Athlete Award for women’s tennis. The SAC Scholar-Athlete Award recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement, service and leadership. Ferguson earned a 3.750 GPA during the most recent school year. On the courts, she compiled a 15-3 mark at the number five singles position and an 8-3 ledger at number three doubles.
Goreski posted a 3.555 GPA during the 2011-12 academic year. She had a 3-1 singles record during her junior season. Poole recorded a 3.875 GPA as a sophomore. On the courts, she had 14-5 singles record with an 8-1 SAC slate. Poole won a team-best 18 doubles matches her sophomore year. She was an All-SAC performer as a freshman.
Williams matched Ferguson with a 3.750 GPA during her first year at Wingate. Williams was 16-3 overall in singles with an undefeated slate in SAC matches as a freshman. She enters the 2012-13 campaign with an eight-match winning streak. Martin won her first collegiate match with a February victory over a Johnson C. Smith opponent. In the classroom, Martin notched a 3.806 GPA during her first academic year as a Bulldog.
Long recognized as one of the best organized collegiate sports associations, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association is a non-profit service organization. The governing body of collegiate tennis in the United States, the ITA administers a comprehensive calendar of tournaments and events and a far-reaching awards program. The goal of the ITA is to improve the level of intercollegiate tennis competition and the quality of college tennis coaching.
Wingate University, ranked as the eighth “best value” in the South by U.S. News & World Report, serves more than 2,500 students on three campuses in Wingate, Matthews and Hendersonville, N.C. Founded in 1896, the University offers 34 undergraduate majors, 37 minors and career concentrations, numerous pre-professional programs, graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration, and doctorates in pharmacy and education. With a 14-to-1 student/teacher ratio, Wingate students gain the tools and support needed to excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary career and life.
In addition to a robust intramural athletics program, Wingate student athletes compete in 19 NCAA Division II sports. The University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past six years.
Wingate is ranked number three among NCAA Division II Academic All-America® producing schools in the 2000’s with 50 honorees during this millennium. Only Pittsburg State (Kan.) University and Truman State (Mo.) University have produced more Academic All-America® honorees during this time period. Wingate’s 59 Academic All-America® honorees (lifetime) is tops among all SAC schools. For more information, go to www.wingate.edu.