UMBC Men's Team Win's National Team Sportsmanship Award
Monday, April 16, 2007
2006-07 UMBC Men's Tennis
The UMBC men's and Grand Valley State women's tennis teams have been honored as this month's recipients of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Sportsmanship Award, the ITA announced today.
The ITA National Team Sportsmanship Award is a monthly award that goes to one men's and one women's team that has exemplified outstanding sportsmanship, character and ethical conduct in the true spirit of competition and collegiate tennis. The winners are selected by the ITA Ethics and Infractions Committee from nominations received from all ITA member institutions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community Colleges). This monthly award began in 2003.
UMBC is coached by Keith Puryear. Puryear's team was nominated for this award by an opposing for displaying outstanding sportsmanship under difficult conditions.
"We recently played UMBC at our Saint Joseph's campus, and finished with a 3-3 tie due to darkness," said the coach. "It was one of those hard fought matches that was marked by extreme intensity, yet perfect sportsmanship, especially on the part of UMBC.
"We had bands playing, Air Force ROTC shouting and drilling, and a lot of commotion behind the scenes. UMBC said nothing, but just kept competing. It was a great reflection on their coach Keith Puryear."
Coach Puryear tells his team this in regard to sportsmanship: "Your integrity is more important than winning or losing a tennis match. It is how you carry yourself that defines who you are, not the match score. Ultimately, that is what people will remember about you."
Grand Valley State is coached by John Black. An opposing coach said this of GVSU: "Every one of their players displayed outstanding sportsmanship. Several of the Grand Valley players were even complimenting my players whenever they made a winning shot. It was refreshing to play a team with such respect and good sportsmanship."
"My women's tennis team is an incredible group of young women," says Black. "They are all hard workers in the classroom and extremely talented tennis players on the court. They go out and give 100% on the courts and, win or lose, do so with fairness and integrity. They believe that nearly all of the college tennis plays they face are great sports and that every single one of their opponents deserves and will get their respect."
In addition to the obvious reasons, sportsmanship and fair play are considered important in college tennis due to the fact that players make their own line calls during a match.