WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior co-captain Kara Murphy (Worcester, Pa./Methacton) of the Bentley women's tennis team has been named the 2012 recipient of the ITA's Women's Division II National Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship.
Murphy is the second straight player from the women's tennis program to win this award, following former teammate Cheryl Martin. She's also the third player from the program to win the award under head coach Alex Wong, as Kelly Nugent took the honor in 2008.
A two-year co-captain, Murphy became eligible for the national Ashe Award when she was named the ITA's Division II East Region Ashe Award winner.
The Ashe Award recognizes those, "who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements." To that end, in addition to her leadership role on the team, Murphy has been involved in several off the court volunteer efforts.
Among them is Cradles to Crayons, an organization which helps provide children living in homeless or low-income situations with essentials, and The Wish Project, which provides furniture and other home essentials to those in need in the Merrimack Valley.
Murphy was involved in those projects while also maintaining the team's highest grade point average of 3.8 and majoring in corporate finance and accounting. Her academic efforts have twice been recognized by the Northeast-10 Conference with inclusion to its 2010 and 2011 All-Academic teams.
On the tennis court, Murphy compiled a career record of 100-65 while helping Bentley contend in the NE-10 in each of her four seasons. That career record includes a mark of 35-16 as a freshman during the 2008-09 season, when she was named the ITA East Region Rookie of the Year and second team All-Conference, and a 29-14 record as a sophomore that earned her a spot on the All-Conference third team.