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Sailfish Shine in ITA Academic Awards

Written By: Kyler Ludlow, Sports Information Director

Juniors Veena Vasquez (Left) and Mark Heimberger (Right) Shined Both On The Court and In The Classroom In 2014. Juniors Veena Vasquez (Left) and Mark Heimberger (Right) Shined Both On The Court and In The Classroom In 2014.

SKILLMAN, N.J.- Palm Beach Atlantic found success on both the men’s and women’s side of the tennis season in 2014, but as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced on Thursday, their accomplishments carried into to the classroom as well. Both of head coach Chi Ly’s tennis squads were honored for their success with ITA All-Academic Team nods, while nine total student-athletes named Scholar-Athletes.

The acknowledgment marked the ninth consecutive season the PBA women’s tennis team has been honored for their academic excellence. The men’s team earned the selection for just the second time in program history.

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 eligible student-athletes whose names appear on the NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA/CA JUCO eligibility form and have competed in one or more varsity matches must average into the GPA for the current academic year (including fall 2013 and spring 2014).

Both teams had  multiple players recognized as ITA Scholar-Athletes. For the women’s team, Vilja Vahatalo, Maja Jovic and Jessica Wharton were all recognized for the first time, while Veena Vasquez and Maria Jimenez were honored for the third time in their careers.

Four players on the PBA men’s side were also honored with ITA Scholar-Athlete honors: Mark Heimberger, Kevin Reifler, Fernando Arroyo, and Giuseppe Guarnierri.

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 current academic year, and 3.) have been enrolled at their present school for at least 2 semesters (including freshman through senior year).

Both teams put together 14-win seasons in 2014, and the Sailfish will return in late August to begin preparing for the rigorous South Region schedule in the spring 2015.

Click Here to View the Complete List of ITA Male Selections

Click Here to View the Complete List of ITA Female Selections

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