Saluki men's and women's tennis teams earn ITA All-Academic distinction, land eight Scholar-Athletes

    Under men's head coach Dann Nelson the Salukis have earned the ITA team honor five consecutive seasons and six (2007, 2009-13) of his eight years at SIU (2006-present).

    Under men's head coach Dann Nelson the Salukis have earned the ITA team honor five consecutive seasons and six (2007, 2009-13) of his eight years at SIU (2006-present).
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    Aug. 1, 2013

    Men's List | Women's List

    By Tyler Wooten

    SKILLMAN, N.J. -- Saluki men's and women's tennis both earned the All-Academic team distinction from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, as well as a total eight student-athletes who were named ITA Scholar-Athletes.

    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 (on a 4.00 scale). 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 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year and have been enrolled at their present school for at least 2 semesters (including freshman through senior year).

    This is the fifth consecutive team honor for the Saluki men under head coach Dann Nelson, who has earned the ITA All-Academic team distinction six (2007, 2009-13) of his eight seasons at SIU (2006-present).

    All three Saluki men named to the ITA Scholar-Athlete team had earned the honor before. Senior Orhan Spahic (four year honoree, 2010-13) and juniors Jorge Cavero (two years, 2012-13) and Rafael Cuadrillero (three years, 2011-13) all repeated as ITA Scholar-Athletes. Under Nelson, the Saluki men have never had fewer than three student-athletes named to the team.

    "I am extremely proud of our team and the way they take care of business in the classroom," Nelson said. "We set a goal each year to be eligible for this award and for the last five years in a row we have reached our goal. We have a special group of guys who are excellent students, talented tennis players and above all, amazing people with great character."



    The Saluki women -- who are coming off a superb 19-5 dual-match record in 2013 -- garnered the team honor for a fourth consecutive season. In those four seasons under head coach Audra Anderson, the Saluki women have placed at least three Scholar-Athletes on the team and as many as six.

    The 2013 season was no different, as five student-athletes of Anderson's group made the team -- four of whom were repeat honorees. Seniors Melanie Delsart (four year honoree, 2010-13), Anita Lee (three years, 2011-13) and Korey Love (one year, 2013), and juniors Gisela Cairo Baza (two years 2012-13) and Siera Hasler (two years, 2012-13) represented the Saluki women.

    "We have a very hard working and diligent group of students on our team," Anderson said."They are very conscious of their team and their team GPA. I really applaud their efforts for being great student-athletes during a year where they really succeeded on the court as well."