Spycher & Murphy Named ITA East Region Arthur Ashe Award Winners

Kara Murphy & Alec Spycher
Kara Murphy & Alec Spycher

WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University senior tennis players Alec Spycher (Sarasota, Fla./Saint Stephens Episcopal) and Kara Murphy (Worcester, Pa./Methacton) have been named the winners of the ITA Division II East Region Men's and Women's Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Awards, respectively.

The Arthur Ashe Award recognizes individuals throughout all NCAA Divisions at the regional and national level.  The award is given to players, "who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements." Both Spycher and Murphy are now eligible for the Division II National Arthur Ashe Award.

Spycher is the second player from the men's tennis team in three seasons to be the recipient of the East Region's Ashe Award, joining former teammate Lorenzo Cava. Murphy is the second straight player from the women's team to earn the East Region's Ashe Award, following Cheryl Martin. Both Cava and Martin went on to win the National Ashe Award.

"Alec has been an outstanding leader for the men's tennis team," said head coach Alex Wong. "He took leadership of a team that needed some peer guidance and was incredible in doing so. His teammates all respected him for his role as captain, as well as for being a great contributor to the team. For all those reasons, I'm incredibly proud that he has won the Ashe Award."

Wong continued, "I am extremely proud that Kara has been honored with the Ashe Award. Through her time here at Bentley, Kara has developed into an outstanding leader for the women's tennis team. In addition to her contributions to the team, she has been active in many community service initiatives, which is truly the essence of the Ashe Award. Her combination of academics, athletics and community service is unmatched, which is why she deserves this award."

On the court this season, Spycher, team captain, helped Bentley to a second-place finish in the NE-10 (10-1) and its fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. He went 21-18 overall (11-8 singles, 10-10 doubles) and was named first team All-Northeast-10 in fifth-flight singles.

Murphy was co-captain of the women's team and compiled an overall record of 17-18 (8-8 singles, 9-10 doubles). She was the 2009 ITA East Region Rookie of the Year and a third team All-Conference selection in 2010.