Skillman, N.J. - The Northeast Mississippi Community College men's and women's tennis programs placed themselves among highly elite company with their latest national recognition.
The Lady Tigers and Tigers were named 2014 All-Academic Teams by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) for sustaining a grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or above on a 4.0 scale.
In addition, seven individual Northeast netters that possessed GPAs higher than 3.5 garnered ITA Scholar-Athlete status.
"I am just as proud of their accomplishments and successes in the classroom as I am for every win on the court," said Northeast head coach Ben Shappley. "I'm extremely impressed with their work ethic. They've earned these honors."
The Lady Tigers were one of just six National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) members to qualify for the ITA All-Academic Team award with a sensational 3.59 GPA. That number was second best in the Magnolia State behind only Copiah-Lincoln Community College.
The Booneville duo of Allie Downs and Erica Whitten led the effort by compiling flawless 4.0 GPAs. Downs was one of only five women's tennis players in the country to claim the NJCAA Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence.
Belmont's Allison Wiltshire, who concluded the campaign at the No. 1 singles and doubles position for Northeast, flirted with perfection and accumulated a GPA of 3.96.
Whitten's partner at No. 2 doubles in Haley Brown also clinched her spot on the ITA Scholar-Athlete list with a 3.54 GPA. The Iuka product held a three-match winning streak for the Lady Tigers against opponents from East Central Community College and Holmes Community College in March.
Northeast and Meridian Community College were the lone men's representatives from the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) to secure ITA All-Academic Team distinction. The Tigers placed half their squad on the ITA Scholar-Athlete lineup and carried an outstanding composite GPA of 3.22.
Tye and Wright excelled in match play as well and registered a regular season record of 6-6 at No. 3 doubles for the Tigers. The combo also accounted for 11 victories at No. 5 and No. 6 singles.
Micah Page collected a number of marquee wins during his final campaign in a Northeast uniform, including decisions over nationally ranked players Juan Miranda of East Central and Graham Lightsey of Jones County Junior College.
Tishomingo's Page devoted proper time to his scholastic endeavors as well and tallied a 3.59 GPA to gain ITA Scholar-Athlete accolades.
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA is comprised of nearly 1,700 coaches and 20,000 student-athletes from over 1,200 institutions. It has a comprehensive awards program to honor excellence in academics, leadership, sportsmanship and athletic performance.
The ITA annually decorates approximately 3,000 student-athletes from 500 different varsity programs across the country.