May 19, 2017 Article from GOBLUERAIDERS.COM




photo of tennis playerMURFREESBORO, Tenn - For the first time in program history, Middle Tennessee men's tennis was honored with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Community Service Award for the Ohio Valley Region.
Head coach Jimmy Borendame's squad participated in a wide variety of activities in the community this season, from reading in local elementary schools, hosting free tennis clinics for the Murfreesboro City Schools, volunteering with "Buddy Up," a tennis clinic for children with Down syndrome, and cleaning up areas of Murfreesboro.
"I'm very proud of our team for earning this award. We make this a priority in our program, and it's great to be recognized amongst all the strong programs in the Ohio Valley," Borendame said. "I stress doing a great job in the community with our players as it results in fan support at matches, fundraising, and just spreading the love of the game to Murfreesboro."
The Blue Raiders shared this year's award with Louisville. Sean Donohue of the Cardinals took home the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.
MT returns all eight players from the 2017 team that saw its season end in the semifinals of the Conference USA Championship and will add two high-talent newcomers, and Borendame knows how important that community service is for the student-athletes.
"I believe that this community involvement teaches our players to give back and that each of us needs to share our gifts with others and serve others," he said. "I hope they learn that each of them are role models in the community and that we need to accept that role and be thankful for what we have. I believe it all comes full circle in my belief in having a program that has a 'privileged mentality.'"

Ohio Valley Region

Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Pawel Gajdzik - Purdue
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Francisco Stuardo Vargas - Purdue
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Nils Ellefsen - Kentucky
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Ricky Medinilla - Purdue
ITA Rookie of the Year: Stephan Koenigsfest - Purdue
ITA Player to Watch: Will Bushamuka - Kentucky
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Sean Donohue - Louisville
ITA Community Service Award: Middle Tennessee & Louisville