Elis Named ITA All-Academic Team for Record 17th Straight Year

Erik Blumenkranz and Joel Samaha. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Erik Blumenkranz and Joel Samaha. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Also Lead Division I Teams in ITA Scholar-Athlete Honors

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's tennis team has once again been honored by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) as an All-Academic Team.  In addition, an impressive 10 members of the Bulldogs' squad have been named ITA Scholar-Athletes for 2011-12.

This week's announcement marks the 17th straight year that Yale has earned the distinction of an ITA All-Academic Team.  The All-Academic Team Award was introduced 17 years ago in 1996, which means Yale men's tennis continues its run of being the only Division I men's tennis team in the country to have won this award every year since its inception. 

For a team to be recognized as All-Academic, its individual members must be exceptional scholar-athletes.  The Bulldogs proved no exception to this generalization.  The 10 members of the Yale men's tennis team who were named ITA Scholar-Athletes for 2011-12 were: Erik Blumenkranz (Portola Valley, Calif.), Patrick Chase (Portola Valley, Calif.), Zachary Dean (Commack, N.Y.), Daniel Faierman (Del Mar, Calif.), Daniel Hoffman (Atherton, Calif.), John Huang (Irvine, Calif.), Zachary Krumholz (Palm Beach, Fla.), Marc Powers (Stamford, Conn.), Tommy Ratchford (Atlanta, Ga.) and Joel Samaha (Tampa, Fla.)

According to Alex Dorato, Cary Leeds Head Coach of Men's Tennis, the Bulldogs' 10 honorees (from a squad of 12 players) means that Yale leads the nation among Division I men's tennis teams for the most number of Scholar-Athletes.  Cornell tied Yale with 10 Scholar-Athletes, but had a squad of 17 players.

Blumenkranz finishes his career at Yale with four ITA Scholar-Athlete selections.  Blumenkranz was also one of 10 Yale athletes to receive Academic All-Ivy honors for the 2011-12 spring season.  Fellow alumnus Samaha earned a third selection, as did Hoffman, the Elis' captain for the upcoming 2012-13 season.  Chase and Dean are two-time honorees, while Faierman, Huang, Krumholz, Powers and Ratchford are first-time honorees.

The announcement of these distinctions caps off a successful 2011-12 season for the Bulldogs.  Thanks to a 13-11 overall winning record, the Elis finished the season ranked No. 8 in the Northeast Region rankings, with three players (Huang, Hoffman and Powers) ranked in the region's top 13 in singles and the doubles team of Hoffman and Powers ranked No. 3 in doubles.  Both Hoffman and Powers also acquired national singles rankings (of No. 108 and No. 62, respectively) during the season.  As a doubles team, Hoffman and Powers were ranked as high as No. 67 in the nation during the Ivy League season.   

The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above (on a 4.00 scale).  In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status, a player must meet the following criteria: 1.) be a varsity letter winner, 2.) have a grade point average of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year, and 3.) have been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters (including freshman through senior year).

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity