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2015 D3 WTI - WashU lineup photo
Washington University-St. Louis Honored with ITA Team Sportsmanship Award

Bears were semifinalists at the ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship 


SKILLMAN, NJ (March 6) - The Washington University-St. Louis Bears not only played well, but also carried themselves well to earn the inaugural ITA Team Sportsmanship Award at the 2015 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship. 


Wash U.-St. Louis matched a program-best finish at the event by reaching the semifinals and finishing in fourth place. The Bears' on- and off-court demeanor was recognized by the participating coaches as deserving of the award, which is presented to the team that has displayed exceptional sportsmanship, character and ethical conduct in the true spirit of competition and college tennis during the championship. Wash U.-St. Louis will receive a plaque for earning this honor.


Wash U.-St. Louis head coach Kelly Stahlhuth, in her 10th season coaching the Bears, has led her team to two semifinal appearances at this event in the last four years. The event annually pits eight top Division III teams from across the nation against each other. 
Stahlhuth talks with Kaylan Griffith

"I am so proud of the Bears for being nominated and selected for this award," Stahlhuth said. "Coaching the Washington University in St. Louis women's team is a privilege that I am grateful to have. I look forward to every day on and off the tennis court with our scholar-athletes."

Despite being locked in some battles throughout the weekend, including an over 7-hour semifinal match with Carnegie Mellon where they came out on the losing end, the Bears were quick to applaud their opponents' shots and move on to the next point.

"Wash U. exemplifies the spirit of competition as well as any team I've seen," said Scott Riggle, head coach of DePauw and host for the event. "They compete fiercely yet fairly, and they do it with a pleasant demeanor at every position. My team has been in some very close and important matches with Wash U. over the past few years and they've come out on top of us more often than not. Because of that fact, we'd like to dislike them, but their coaching staff and players never give us a reason to. Kelly Stahlhuth has set a great example for her team in this regard and many others."


Stahlhuth makes attitude and demeanor a focus of her coaching, as it has a long-term effect on the young student-athletes.

"The worth of sportsmanship in collegiate athletics should be valued and emphasized with our student-athletes," she said. "Sportsmanship on the tennis court will prepare us for the 'game of life,' and we must carry ourselves with dignity and integrity when times are great and when times are challenging." 
Stahlhuth getting the team ready before a match
"I try to teach sportsmanship through my actions, which always carry more weight than my words," Stahlhuth added. "I truly feel that a player can be a tough competitor and carry herself with dignity and respect toward our opponents. I can't wait to see my team to share the news of this award with them. We will continue to uphold the honor of this award throughout our season." 

About the ITA 

As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men's and women's varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 20,000 college varsity student-athletes at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA web site is ITAtennis.com.