Bluffton women's tennis recognized as All-Academic team
By Ben Risinger
Sports Information Director
The Bluffton women's tennis team has been selected as an Intercollegiate Tennis Association
(ITA) All-Academic team for the 2003 season. In order to qualify, the team as a whole
must post a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale. The team as a whole posted a 3.47 GPA for the
"Awards such as these are merely an illustration that the first priority for our athletes is academic success," head coach Nate Smith said. "It's nice to see our athletes rewarded for the combined efforts on and off the court. I believe our team, in that regard, illustrates a fine representation of what Division III athletics is about."
Additionally, Bluffton had six players earn ITA Scholar-Athlete awards. The recipients were Jenni Blose (Soph.), Stephanie Keefe (Soph.), Laurel Miller (Jr.), Melinda Meuleman (Jr.), Nikki Phillips (Sr.), and Rachel Yoder (Fr.).
In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status a player must meet the following criteria: 1.) be a varsity letter winner, 2.) have a GPA 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 two semesters (including freshman through senior year).
The six awards ties Bluffton with Manchester College for most ITA academic awards in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, and ties Bluffton with Ohio Northern University for the most academic awards of all Ohio schools.
Last season the team finished eighth in the HCAC tournament. Nikki Phillips was named Bluffton's first ever All-HCAC player in women's tennis. Phillips played both number one doubles and singles for the Beaver tennis team this previous fall and took seventh place in singles at the HCAC.