FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University tennis players Oshada Wijemanne and Jitka Gavdunova were the recent recipients of regional awards from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
Wijemanne was named the men’s Senior Player of the Year for the Southeast Region, while Gavdunova was selected as the women’s Player to Watch.
Wijemanne, a three-time All-Peach Belt Conference performer and a two-time All-American (with 2011 selections to be announced soon), finished this season with an 11-4 singles record at the No. 1 position, and is ranked 10th nationally among Division II singles players. Seven of his victories came against nationally ranked opponents. A native of Colombo, Sri Lanka, he concluded his career with the second-most career singles wins (56) in team history.
He also recorded an 8-6 doubles mark this past year and helped the Patriots to a 10-8 record, a No. 17 national ranking, and the program’s fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
Gavdunova was 15-1 in singles play at the No. 1 position and is ranked 13th nationally. Her lone loss was to the then No.1-ranked singles player in Division II. She also posted a 14-4 doubles record and is ranked ninth among all Division II duos.
A junior, Gavdunova helped the Patriot women to an 11-7 record and a No. 21 national ranking.
A native of Vejprty, Czech Republic, she was a first-team All-Conference selection for both singles and doubles. She owns a 53-6 career singles record in her three seasons at FMU.