Skillman, N.J. – Gustavus Adolphus men’s tennis players Amrik Donkena (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) and Mya Smith-Dennis (Jr., Savage, Minn.) have been named to the 2013 All-America Team announced Wednesday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). A combined 24 men and women were named to the All-America teams in both singles and doubles (10 men, 14 women).
“The entire Gustavus tennis family is thrilled that Amrik and Mya have again been named ITA All-Americans,” said Head Coach Tommy Valentini. ” It is a tremendous honor for both of them, and for our entire team. Their individual accomplishments in singles and as a doubles team over the past two seasons are outstanding. They are honored to be recognized among the best players country, and proud to be in the company the many great Gustavus All-Americans before them.”
To earn All-America honors from the ITA in singles, a player must meet any of the following criteria: 1.) Top 8 seed in NCAA singles tournament, 2.) Win one round at NCAA singles tournament, 3.) Finish in the Top 20 in the final ITA Rankings, 4.) Win USTA/ITA Fall Regional Tournament, and/or 5.) Wins first-round match at the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships (including players who receive at-large invitations to the tournament).
An ITA All-American in singles and doubles last season, Amrik Donkena makes his second consecutive appearance on the All-America Team – this time as a doubles player. In 2012, Donkena and Mya Smith-Dennis made a run to the championship match of the NCAA Doubles Tournament, finishing the year ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division III according to the final 2011-12 ITA Men’s National Poll. In 2013, the Donkena/Smith-Dennis duo advanced as far as the quarterfinals of NCAA Doubles Tournament, finishing the year ranked No. 9 in the country with an overall record of 21-9 in doubles play.
Mya Smith-Dennis is making his second straight showing on the ITA All-America Team after earning the honor as a doubles player following Donkena and his run to the championship match of the NCAA doubles draw in 2012. Smith-Dennis secured a spot on the All-America Team in the fall of 2012 after winning the singles championship at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional. He led the Gusties in both singles and doubles wins this season, completing the year with overall records of 20-13 in singles and 23-8 in doubles.
“Their run to the 2012 NCAA doubles final, in which they had a match point, was very special to be a part of,” continued Valentini. “The way they bounced back in 2013 after experiencing heartache in the 2012 final, however, was equally impressive. They truly embraced our team’s values, and they are team-first guys. They are excellent, caring young men who led our 2012-13 team by example in terms of poise and belief. The All-America honor is a fitting end to a great career for Amrik, and it should give Mya confidence as he approaches his senior season.”