PISCATAWAY, NJ – For the first time in program history, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) has honored the Rutgers University women’s tennis team as one of 83 All-Academic teams. In addition, five members of the Scarlet Knights were singled out for their respective work in the classroom as ITA Scholar Athletes – Jill Markowitz (Forest Hills, NY), Ketevan Shmakova (Dover, NJ), Alina Balasa (East Brunswick, NJ), Katrina Elder-Bush (Boston, MA) and Anela Dujsic (Mississauga, Ontario).
The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above. All eligible student-athletes whose names appear on the NCAA eligibility form and have competed in one or more varsity matches must average into the GPA for the current academic year (including fall 2004 and spring 2005).
In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status a player must be a varsity letter winner, have a grade point average of at least 3.50 for the current academic year, and have been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters.
“My vision for the program from the beginning was for the program to regularly achieve an ITA All Academic designation while at the same time improve our play so as to become one of the top teams in the Big East,” said head coach Ben Bucca. “I am obviously very proud of the girls for the effort that they put into their studies. From the beginning of the year, the girls on the team adopted as a goal achieving this academic distinction and I am thrilled that they were then able to achieve that goal. Hopefully this is the first of what will be many more academic achievements in the future for this program.”
Rutgers finished 10-11 this spring but won five of its final eight matches to narrowly miss qualifying for the BIG EAST Championships. Elder-Bush and Dujsic, both freshmen, played major roles for the Scarlet Knights, anchoring the first and second singles positions, respectively. Balasa played third singles and Shmakova played fifth singles.