TEMPE, Ariz. – For the first season since 2016, the Suffolk men's tennis team saw a student-athlete recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) for success in the classroom as freshman Ariel Ilarslan Russo and Rami Esrawi eared ITA Scholar-Athlete status, the organization announced Tuesday morning.
Each season, the ITA recognizes students who maintain a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and earn varsity letter status. The two are the first Rams honorees since a trio of Suffolk student-athletes achieved the feat in 2016.
Ilarlsan Russo and Esrawi are just two of 10 GNAC student-athletes recognized by the national organization. Regis had five honorees, while Johnson & Wales saw three.
Ilarslan Russo had a standout freshman season as the two-time GNAC Corvias Rookie of the Week, who also garnered GNAC Corvias Player of the Week honors once, took home GNAC Rookie of the Year after competing as the Rams' ace in every match he competed in. For his unbeaten, 8-0 mark, which included a 3-0 league ledger, he was also named to the All-GNAC Singles First-Team.
Esrawi, meanwhile, was a main ingredient to Suffolk's most successful doubles tandem along with his partner Kevin Greenman. The two went undefeated on the third court (5-0) and .500 (3-3) in the second slot for a team-best 8-3 doubles record. In singles, Esrawi put together a 5-6 mark over courts three through six.