Women’s Tennis Named NAIA Champions of Character

On the heels of winning their fifth-ever NCCAA National Championship, the Indiana Wesleyan University women’s tennis team was honored with the Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Award at the NAIA Women’s Tennis Banquet on May 16 in Mobile, Alabama.

The NAIA website describes the award:  The Buffalo Funds Five-Star Champions of Character Team Award is presented at the end of the season for each of the NAIA's 23 championship sports. Teams that receive this prestigious award demonstrate in every day decisions integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. These institutions and athletic programs strive for excellence in and out of competition and are part of communities throughout the country dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics.

“To me this is the highest award our team can receive from the NAIA,” said IWU head coach Eddy Shigley. “Other coaches are recognizing the good behavior and sportsmanship that our girls display each and every time we go out on the court. It matters how you win and lose. One of our core values is to ‘love our opponents, to treat them with dignity and respect, and to win with grace and lose with honor.’ This award shows that a team can compete at the highest level and at the same time be kind to their opponents. Our girls are not just representing themselves out on the court, they represent Indiana Wesleyan and Jesus Christ.”

Three individuals were recognized for four awards at the regional level. Lucia Solis (FR/Tucuman, Argentina) was named ITA East Region Newcomer of the Year and Eddy Shigley was voted the ITA East Region Coach of the Year. Rachel Bottorff (JR/Newburgh, Ind.) was named the ITA East Region Player to Watch and the Arthur Ashe Leadership Award.

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