Community service

Reasco named ITA Regional Rookie of the Year; Georgia Wins Community Service Award

ATHENS, Ga. — First-year student Mell Reasco was named the 2022 Southeast Region Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rookie of the Year, while the University of Georgia women’s tennis team won the Southeastern Region Community Service Award -eastern ITA, the ITA announced on Monday.

Reasco, a native of Quito, Ecuador, capped off an impressive freshman campaign with a team record of 27-9 in singles. She recorded 11 wins over ranked opponents, including eight top-50 wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots. The rookie also recorded a team-best mark of 23-12 in doubles, including four wins over opponents classified. Reasco was ranked among the top 16 seeds in the NCAA singles tournament, earning All-America honors, and was named All-SEC First Team, SEC All-Freshman Team, as well as SEC All-Tournament team. The Southeast Region champion finished the season ranked 21st in the ITA.

The Bulldogs won the ITA Community Service Award for a second straight season. Graduated this season Meg Kowalski led the joint effort of the Georgia men’s and women’s tennis team in “Serving for a Cause”. Serving for a Cause’s goal was to generate funds to send local children from the Boys and Girls Club of Athens to summer camp. The Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp offers families in Athens the opportunity to send their children to the Boys and Girls Club while the school program is not in progress.

In previous years, Georgia has hosted First Serve, an hour-long tennis clinic to introduce the community to the game of tennis, Special Pops, a special needs tennis clinic, teaching tennis to those who attend the clinic, Food2Kids Snack Drive to benefit the Northeast Georgia Food Bank distributed groceries to underprivileged residents of Athens in a mobile pantry car drive, and “Giving Challenge” which encouraged Georgian students to donate toiletries to homeless populations through the Bigger Visions community shelter. Additionally, the Georgia women’s tennis team regularly collects and distributes old tennis balls from practices and games to local animal shelters and clinics in the Athens area.

Each year, the ITA recognizes coaches and players for their excellence on the field and in their communities throughout the season. Division I gaming awards include: Wilson ITA Coach of the Year, ITA Assistant Coach of the Year, Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship, ITA Rookie of the Year, ITA Most Improved Senior, ITA Senior Player of the Year, ITA Community Service Award, and the ITA Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award. There are 12 ITA regions in the United States.

Georgia regional winners are currently under consideration for national awards to be announced by the ITA on Monday, June 13.