COLLEGE TENNIS

Thompson, Carter win USTA/ITA Sportsmanship Awards

November 13, 2013 08:06 AM
Men's champion Clay Thompson was honored with the sportsmanship award at the National Indoors.
UNC freshman Haylety Carter took home the women's sportsmanship award.

Clay Thompson of UCLA, the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate singles champion, and ITA pre-season No. 4 Hayley Carter of North Carolina added to their trophy cases after being named the 2013 USTA/ITA Sportsmanship Award winners at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, hosted by Columbia University at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.  

Thompson won five matches in New York without dropping a set, pushing his winning streak to a remarkable 15 matches. His on-court attitude has been the biggest change in his game, and a clear head led to his first-ever national title at any level. The Bruin is a huge asset to his team, whether it be winning matches or cheering on his teammates.

"I think relaxing, taking everything in perspective and enjoying the moment has all helped me become a more mature person and, in turn, a better sport in tennis," Thompson said. "It's just respecting the game. When the guy hits a great shot, there's no reason to be upset. He played a good point; that's great. That's exactly what you want when you're a tennis player."

Carter, a freshman on the Tar Heels who participated in the singles and doubles championships, came very close to withdrawing from both events.  A concussion almost denied her the opportunity to compete, but Carter was cleared to play and made the most of her opportunity in Flushing.

"I didn't play for 10 days before the tournament, so to get to the semifinals is an incredible run for me," Carter explained. "I just really enjoy playing tennis. I try to have fun every single point, no matter what the score is. You can't play the game for that long, so I try and enjoy every moment I'm out here."

Thompson and Carter were selected by a panel of coaches, officials and tournament committee members.
 
Story published courtesy of the ITA.

 

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