CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – It was announced on Tuesday morning by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) that junior Edwin Zhang (Falls Church, Va.) of the MIT men's tennis team was selected as the recipient of the Northeast Region's Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winner. He is only the second person in the history of the program to receive this prestigious award, the last being Tom Dohlman in 2006-07.
"I think that there are very few players in the country that are as deserving as Edwin is to receive this award," said Dave Hagymas, the head MIT men's tennis coach. "The Arthur Ashe award is one of the highest honors a student-athlete can win and Edwin is the second from our program. I am very proud indeed."
The ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. The 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.
So far this season, Zhang has a record of 12-5 in singles play and 11-6 in doubles action, all of which have been played at No. 1. At the 2013 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship final, he was named the Athlete of the Year and was placed on the NEWMAC All-Conference team after MIT claimed its 15th consecutive conference title. He wrapped up the two-day championship this year with two doubles wins at No. 1.
Last week, before the Engineers made their eighth straight NCAA appearance, the NCAA released the list of student-athletes who were invited to compete in the individual national tournament, revealing Zhang's name. The last MIT men's tennis player who was invited to NCAAs was Dohlman in 2007. The individual championships will take place from Thursday through Saturday, May 23-25 at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich. and will consist of 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams.
Majoring in electrical engineering, computer science and mathematics, Zhang has researched in MIT's Media Lab and held an internship with Northrop Grumman Corporation. He is also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.