TEMPE, AZ – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) has named two Florida Southern players as recipients of 2015-16 regional awards. Jose de Sario was named the South Region Player to Watch while Fabian Lundberg was selected as the South Region recipient of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award.
De Sario posted a 15-6 individual record, tying his doubles partner, Brian Slivonik, for the most wins on thre team. Playing 17 at #2 singles, de Sario was 13-4. He won six straight matches from March 7-17 and was victorious in 10 of his first 12 matches. Teaming with Slivonik, he posted a 15-10 record in doubles, going 9-7 at number one and 6-3 at number two. De Sari, a junior from Dorlamar, Venezuela, is the first Moccasin to be named the ITA South Regional Player to Watch since Michael Knoedler was the national recipient in 2008.
"My expectations for Jose were high," says FSC head coach Trey Heath. "His track record stated that he had competed at the highest levels so I knew the talent was in there. He has the potential to be a top 20 Division II player."
Lundberg, who went 13-9 in his 22 singles match at number one, is the first Moccasin to receive the Arthur Ashe Award since Josh Berman was the national recipient in 2005. He is a junior from Akersberga, Sweden. Two other Florida Southern players have been recognized as Ashe Award winners since 2000, joining Marc Becker (2002) and Ryan Dunne (2003). Dunne was also a national recipient.
"Fabian is the player we all want to coach," says Heath. "His desire to succeed was evident in his work in the gym, on the courts, and in his actions off the playing surface. He is quiet in his approach but his silence says volumes to his teammates. Whether he is in the gym or working on the courts he pushes those around him so that he can get the best from each practice."
The ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. This award which dates back to 1982, goes to NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO men's and women's players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
Florida Southern finished the 2016 campaign with a 14-11 record and an appearance in the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament. The 14 wins was the most for the program since the 2011 team finished with a 15-9 record.