The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the 2016-17 Division I regional award winners on Tuesday, with junior Will Bushamuka and senior Nils Ellefsen earning awards. Bushamuka is the region’s Player to Watch, while Ellefsen won Most Improved in the Ohio Valley region.
National award winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 23rd. All winners of regional awards are eligible for the national awards.
Bushamuka was named the Ohio Valley’s ITA Player to Watch for the second-straight season after an impressive junior campaign where he climbed to No. 17 in the nation and earned first team All-SEC honors. Bushamuka complied a 14-7 singles record this season, with 11 of those wins coming on the No. 1 court. The Princeton, New Jersey, native earned a team-best seven wins over ranked opponents this season, including a victory over No. 5 Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Bushamuka had two additional wins over top-10 opponents: a win over No. Alfredo Perez of Florida and No. 8 Arthur Rinderknech of Texas A&M.
Ellefsen was named Most Improved senior in the region after a steady improvement over four years at Kentucky. This season, Ellefsen tied for the most wins on the team in singles play with 17. The Oslo, Norway, native went an impressive 15-5 on the No. 4 court for the Wildcats and earned two wins on the No. 3 court. Ellefsen picked up two ranked wins this season, downing No. 58 J.C. Aragone (Virginia) and No. 77 Martin Joyce (Ohio State), helping him rise to No. 117 in the country.
Bushamuka will be back in action at the NCAA singles tournament on May 18-29 in Athens, Georgia on the campus of the University of Georgia.
For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter or Kentucky Men’s Tennis Team on Facebook.
Ohio Valley Region Awards
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Pawel Gajdzik – Purdue
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Francisco Stuardo Vargas – Purdue
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Nils Ellefsen – Kentucky
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Ricky Medinilla – Purdue
ITA Rookie of the Year: Stephan Koenigsfest – Purdue
ITA Player to Watch: Will Bushamuka – Kentucky
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Sean Donohue – Louisville
ITA Community Service Award: Middle Tennessee State University & University of Louisville
‑ GO CATS –
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