From Case Western Reserve University Athletics
Case Western Reserve University first-year men's tennis player James Hopper was named the ITA Central Region Rookie of the Year, while junior Jonathan Powell was selected as the ITA Player to Watch in the Central Region, as the organization revealed its 2020 regional award winners on Wednesday morning.
The ITA Rookie of the Year Award honors a first-year student-athlete who made significant contributions to his team in the areas of leadership, sportsmanship and performance. The award is just the latest in a string of postseason honors for Hopper, who was named an All-American and selected to the All-University Athletic Association Team for both singles and doubles in 2020. Hopper, along with partner Matthew Chen, ended the year as the top-ranked doubles team in all of Division III. The duo won the ITA Cup Division III Doubles National Championship in the fall, and his 31 doubles wins during the year were just two victories shy of the program's single-season record. In singles play, Hopper finished the campaign ranked seventh in Division III and second in the Central Region, after notching an overall record of 21-4 during the year. He claimed the ITA Fall Central Region Championship, becoming the first player in program history to claim a victory at the tournament, and went on to finish fifth in the Division III draw at the ITA Cup. Hopper played at no. 1 singles throughout the spring for the Spartans, going 5-3, and was named to the All-UAA team for his play at singles.
The ITA Player to Watch Award recognizes a returning student-athlete who is expected to have an outstanding collegiate season next year. Powell went 11-1 in singles matches during the season, all during the spring, and ended the campaign on an eight-match winning streak. He went 19-6 in doubles matches during the year, including an 11-4 record in dual matches. Powell holds a 42-4 singles record, good for the best winning percentage (.913) in program history, and a 60-24 doubles record over his career.
Case Western Reserve completed the 2020 spring season with an 18-1 record in dual matches, and was ninth in the last Division III team rankings.