Lopez Villa Receives Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award
NORFOLK, Va. – No. 64 Carlos Lopez Villa of the Old Dominion University men’s tennis team was named the sole 2014 recipient of the ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Leadership & Sportsmanship Award for the entire Atlantic region, as announced by Intercollegiate Tennis Association officials on Tuesday afternoon.
The ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. The award dates back to 1982 and goes to NCAA divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO men's and women's players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
The Monarchs play in the Atlantic region, which is one of 10 Division I regions across the country. Winners of the regional awards are also nominated for the ITA Division I National Awards, which will be announced on May 20
No. 64 Carlos Lopez Villa, who compiled an astonishing 20-1 record for the season ended the year winning nine matches in a row and was a solid rock at the No. 1 slot all season for Aljosa Piric’s Monarchs. Unbelievably, the 6’4 right handed junior from Madrid, Spain has now compiled an incredible 38-2 record over the past two seasons in an Old Dominion University uniform.
In November, Carlos became just the second male in school history to capture the Regional Single’s crown after defeating VCU’s Alexis Huegas in the finals, earning himself a spot in the National Indoor Tournament in Flushing, N.Y. at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center. On March 29th, Lopez Villa snapped UNCW’s No. 69 Rafael Atia three-match winning streak in dominating two-set fashion 6-1, 6-0.
Perhaps even more impressively, Lopez Villa is shining in the classroom and representing not only his school but Conference USA too, as he was named to his second consecutive Conference USA All-Academic Team. Carlos is the epitome of a student-athlete, as he is a double major of Economics and Finance and possesses a cumulative GPA of 3.83. Lopez Villa has been named to the Dean’s List on three different occasions. The Madrid, Spain-native has garnered two C-USA Academic Medals, is a two-time C-USA Honor Roll student-athlete, as well as received the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award.
Needless to say, Carlos Lopez Villa is the heart and sole of the Old Dominion University tennis program. The right-handed junior is the true definition of a leader on and off the court. He brings his teammates up when there’s nothing a coach can do or say to get through, as well as inspires the team through action with his unbreakable focus and endurance. As the match goes longer and longer, and points become even harder to come by…that is when the Madrid, Spain native performs most brilliantly.
ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award Regional Winners
Atlantic - Carlos Lopez Villa, Old Dominion University
Carolina - Raphael Hemmeler, Duke University
Central - Hall Fess, University of Arkansas
Midwest - Greg Andrews, University of Notre Dame
Mountain - Nathan Sereke, Boise State University
Northeast - Yevgeniy Jason Shkodnik, University at Buffalo
Northwest - John Morrissey, Stanford University
Ohio Valley - Ryan Lipman, Vanderbilt University
Southeast - Jordi Vives, Florida Gulf Coast University
Southern - Daniil Proskura, University of Alabama
Southwest - Ray Sarmiento, University of Southern California
Texas - Søren Hess-Olesen, University of Texas at Austin
Be sure to keep up with all the latest news regarding ODU Men’s Tennis on Facebook; as well as follow @ODUMensTennis on Twitter.