SKILLMAN, N.J. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the 2015-16 NAIA regional award winners on Thursday afternoon and three Warriors were honored.
Lewis-Clark State College Head Coach Kai Fong took home both the men's and women's Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year awards after leading both teams to the GSAC Conference tournament and top 20 NAIA rankings. The men earned their first conference championship in 10 seasons while having three student-athletes named to the Scholar-Athlete team as well as a team grade point average over 3.0. They finished with the best record, 11-9, and highest ranking, No. 12, in over 10 seasons.
The teams were also involved in several community service projects including two blood drives, free clinics for local schools and post event clean-up for several LCSC events.
Quentin Wacquez and Deanri Human were also recognized by the ITA for their accomplishments both on and off the court.
Wacquez was named ITA Most Improved Senior of the Year. A native of Annecy, France; Wacquez went 15-5 this season including a 14-2 mark at the No. 2 singles position. His doubles records of 8-10 was tied for the top mark on the team with five wins coming at the second position and three at No. 1 doubles. He went 4-3 in NAIA competition including a 4-0 mark in the GSAC tournament which led to All-Conference honors.
"He played only two seasons for us, his freshman and his senior years, both season's we've qualified for the National Championships in Mobile," said Fong. "Quentin is like a bowling ball of mental toughness, once he gets rolling he will keep going until he gets to the end. With the strength of schedule we play, if you end up with a positive record at the end of the season, you have done well. Quentin recorded an impressive 15-5 mark. His energy on the court is contagious and it usually spreads to the rest of the team."
For the second consecutive season, Human earned the west regions Arthur Ashe Leadership & Scholarship Award which recognizes outstanding individuals who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements. A native of Gobabis, Namibia, Human led the Warriors with 11 wins, earning victories at three different singles positions including six at No. 3. Her nine doubles wins tied for the team lead and included a 4-0 conference mark. It's the 10th time an LCSC player has been honored with the award with eight previous recipients winning the national honor as well.
"Deanri has grown leaps and bounds from a life perspective since stepping foot in Lewiston," said Fong. "She came highly recommended by a former No. 1 singles opponent from the University of Idaho. I am very glad she chose to be a Warrior. She has been through many challenges and each time she emerged a stronger person. Funny and nice off the court but when she competes, she plays with the heart of a lion at the sportsmanship level that is second to none. She is about fair play and enjoying the competition. She would rather play an out ball than to stop play to claim the point. It's never a dull moment when Deanri is around."
Select coaches in each region comprised the awards committee and all winners are eligible for the national awards which will be announced next week.