Privateers earn ITA Academic honors for fifth-consecutive year
NEW ORLEANS – The University of New Orleans men’s and women’s tennis programs’ academic accomplishments being recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association has become the norm at the Lakefront, as the teams received ITA Academic honors for the fifth-consecutive year. To go with the team accolades, eight total Privateers received ITA Scholar-Athlete distinction for their hard work in the classroom.
In the five-year span, The Privateers have had student-athletes receive ITA Scholar-Athlete honors 49 times between the two programs.
“Academics are huge for us,” head coach Burzis Kanga said. “Athletics are great, they have been blessed with a great talent and it has afforded them a great opportunity that I want them to run with, and they have. When all is said and done what they do in the classroom is far more important than what they will do on the courts. The University of New Orleans is an excellent academic school, and the way our student-athletes are able to put so much time practicing and competing and still having time to not only get their school work done, but excel at it, speaks tremendously to the student-athletes here at UNO.”
Highlighting the individual recognitions is recent UNO graduate Soledad Calderon Arroyo, who finished her career with her fourth-consecutive honor, receiving ITA Scholar-Athlete distinction every year while at the Lakefront. Following in her footsteps is Anna Segarra Rius, who enters her senior year with three-consecutive nods from the ITA. Anja Luethi claimed her second honor while Hafsa Laraibi leaves the Lakefront as a two-time recipient.
“We are truly fortunate to have a coach like Burzis,” said Luethi, who is scheduled to graduate in December with a double major in Management and Marketing and continuing her education at UNO in the MBA program starting this spring. “He understands how important academics are and makes sure we all take advantage of this opportunity. As much as we would all love to play in a grand slam, most of us will end up working outside of tennis after graduation and Burzis is trying to make sure we are prepared and ready to excel in whatever we choose to peruse.
On the men’s side, Luis Albuquerque earned his third-straight honor, putting him in position to receive ITA Scholar-Athlete accolades all four years. Gonzalo Garcia, who graduated in the spring, received the honor for the second time while Nicolas Kramer began the journey of going 4-4 with the award after his freshman season. Rounding out the men’s honoree was Giacomo Adoncecchi, who claimed his first honor.
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 varsity letter winners should be factored into the cumulative team GPA for the current academic year (including fall 2015 and spring 2016).
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).
The Privateers’ fall seasons begin on Friday, Sept. 30, when the women’s team competes in the Rajin’ Cajuns Fall Classic and the men taking part in the Southern Miss. Invitational. Both teams will be at home from Oct. 28-29 when the Privateers host the Big Easy Classic.