University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Jenna Nurik received the Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award for the Ohio Valley Region the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced this week. Nurik just completed her career as the Lady Mocs first four-time All-Southern Conference performer.
The ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. In August, the national winners are honored during a special ceremony hosted by the USTA during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day inside Ashe Stadium. This award, which dates back to 1982, goes to NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO men's and women's players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
“It is a special honor for Jenna to be our region's recipient of the Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship and Leadership Award, as there are so many outstanding student-athletes out there,” stated UTC women’s tennis head coach Jeff Clark. “I am proud of her accomplishments as a student, an athlete, and a leader during her career at UTC, especially in her senior year."
Nurik finished the year with a 22-10 overall record in singles. She was 16-4 at No. 1 in the spring and a first team All-SoCon selection. She was 19-8 in doubles and ranked in the nation early in the season with teammate Kaylene Chadwell. UTC finished its 2013 campaign with an 18-5 overall tally, the most wins for the program since going 23-1 in 1991.
Nurik graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Psychology in the spring. She posted a 3.90 grade-point-average and was elected to UTC’s Alpha Society. She was also a three time ITA Scholar Athlete and twice named to the Academic All-SoCon team. She will likely earn both honors again when they are awarded for the 2013 season.
Off the court, Nurik has been very active in promoting tennis to youth in her hometown of Roswell, Ga. She has also been involved in community service initiatives. She has volunteered with many of the student-athlete projects at UTC, including working at the Foodbank and with the Feed My Starving Children MobilePack. She is also working with Dream Makers, a youth foundation that benefits children with special needs and is volunteering with the Special Olympics Georgia state tennis tournament on May 17-19.