Men’s Tennis Earns Steve Wilkinson Team Sportsmanship Award

Posted on March 5th, 2020 by

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Gustavus men’s tennis team once again was named the Steve Wilkinson Team Sportsmanship Award winner for its outstanding ethics and attitude during the 20th ITA DIII National Men’s Team Indoors. The Golden Gusties are the only men’s team to win the Steve Wilkinson Award twice.

“We are incredibly honored, grateful and humbled to be given this award by our peers,” Head Coach Tommy Valentini said. “It was special to share the court with our opponents all weekend and the atmosphere that our supporters and the Gustavus community created during our matches was electric and positive.

“Every member of our program played an important role in living out our belief in the importance of sportsmanship in both defeat and victory throughout the tournament. Our guys prioritize and practice sportsmanship on a daily basis and see it as success at the most important level. Our leaders make sure that this belief continues to be at the forefront of our culture, and I could not be more proud of our entire team for representing our tradition and family in this way during the intensity of matches against top-caliber opponents in a pressure-packed event.
“As you can imagine, this award being named in Coach Wilkinson’s honor makes it all the more special for us. He would be very proud of the guys for their commitment to sportsmanship and how positively they compete, but most of all he would be grateful for who they are as individual people and a community.”

The Steve Wilkinson Team Sportsmanship Award was introduced in 2015 and is dedicated to the memory of long-time Golden Gusties head coach and founder of Tennis & Life Camps, Steve Wilkinson.

The Golden Gusties faced a tough matchup in the quarterfinals. They dropped the match to eventual Indoor Champions Emory University. Gustavus persevered through the fierce competition to notch a thrilling 5-4 win against No. 11 Kenyon College.

The award is presented to the team that has displayed exceptional sportsmanship, character and ethical conduct in the true spirit of competition and college tennis during the ITA Division III National Men’s Team Indoor Championship each year.

ITA Release


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