MONMOUTH, Ill. – The Monmouth College tennis program broke new ground last season as half of Brian Jordan’s roster earned the highest academic honor awarded by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
Seven Fighting Scots – four women and three men, both record numbers for each program – earned ITA Scholar-Athlete status for academic excellence during the 2016-17 academic year. Women’s team members Natalie Curtis (Arlington Heights, Ill./Hersey), Morgan Holle (Oskaloosa, Iowa/Oskaloosa), Carolyn Scherpe (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg) and Katy Tolsky (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) joined men’s players Saxon Day (Cuppertino, Calif./Monta Vista), Paulo Pliego (Longview, Texas/Longview) and Dylan Wong (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Dana Hills) to comprise a seven-member squad named Scholar-Athletes. It’s the largest number of student-athletes to earn the distinction in program history.
The ITA awards scholar-athlete status to players who have earned varsity letters and meet the qualifying criteria: a minimum 3.5 GPA for the year on a 4.0 scale and have attended their school for at least two semesters.
Curtis – a first-year team member who also earned academic all-Midwest Conference status – debuted at Nos. 5 and 6 singles and saw action at No. 2 doubles. The senior-to-be picked up her first career two-win outing in October with a three-set singles win against Beloit after teaming with Holle for a win at No. 2 doubles against the Bucs.
A math major who moved to the pool in the spring as the goalkeeper for the women’s water polo team, Curtis is the daughter of Peter and Annette Curtis.
Holle – who earned her third academic all-conference award this month – also picked up her third consecutive ITA academic honor. The incoming senior saw singles action primarily at No. 3 while teaming with Curtis at No. 2 doubles. She is No. 7 on the Scots all-time doubles wins list. Holle spent the spring season as a member of Monmouth’s inaugural women’s lacrosse team.
A math major, Holle’s parents are James Holle and Richelle Pipho-Holle.
Scherpe – who graduated in May with a degree in wellness administration – also earned all-academic status from the Midwest Conference. A first-year player as a senior last fall, Scherpe played the majority of her singles matches at No. 5 before ending her collegiate career as a four-year member of the softball team in the spring.
A wellness major, Scherpe is the daughter of Rod and Leeanne Scherpe.
Tolsky – a three-time academic all-conference honoree – earned her third straight ITA academic award. After studying abroad in the fall semester, Tolsky returned to the lineup in the spring playing at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles. She is sixth all-time in singles wins for the Scots.
Tolsky graduated in May with a degree in business. She is the daughter of George and Deborah Tolsky.
Day earned his third ITA scholar-athlete honor in as many years and accomplished the same feat as an academic all-Midwest Conference selection. Day led the Scots with a team-high 13 wins combined at Nos. 4 and 5 singles.
A senior chemistry major this fall, Day is the son of Shiyin Yee and Wesley Day.
Pliego also earned his third ITA award just weeks after claiming his third academic all-conference award. Pliego – who played at Nos. 3 and 4 singles, picked up a dozen singles victories and tied for a team-high 10 doubles wins.
An economics major, Pliego is the son of Paulo Pliego-Garza.
Wong earned his first ITA Scholar-Athlete award after claiming his first academic all-conference honor. The senior-to-be picked up a six singles wins at No. 2 and tallied eight doubles wins splitting time between Nos. 1 and 2 doubles.
A business and economics double-major, Wong is the son of Chris and Audrey Wong.
The ITA awards mark the fourth straight year the Scots have had student-athletes so honored in the men’s program and the third straight year for the women.