May 20, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern senior Belinda Niu (Portland, Ore./Lincoln) has been recognized as the national Division I female recipient of the prestigious ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award.
The award takes into account a player's tennis accomplishments, scholastic achievements and extracurricular endeavors, and recognizes players who excelled on and off the court as Ashe did during his life.
The ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. National Sportsmanship and Leadership Awards honors outstanding individuals in all collegiate tennis divisions at the regional and national level, including NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO men's and women's players.
Niu accepted the honor on the eve of the start of the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships in Athens, Ga. She was previously named the Midwest Region's recipient of the award, making her eligible for the overall national honor.
Niu clinched Big Ten tournament titles twice for her team in her career, including this year when she came back from a 5-2 deficit while fighting off two match points to clinch the win.
Niu is co-president of Northwestern's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She has been involved with endless community service projects and has worked hard to implement important changes to enhance the life of all student-athletes at Northwestern through her work with SAAC.
She also is a big contributor to Northwestern through her work as Chair of Campus CATALYST, a program founded in 2007 that matches community non-profits with five-member teams of undergraduate "community analysts" supervised by a Kellogg School of Management MBA student and a professor. The teams act as pro-bono business consultants for a 10-week academic quarter to help the non-profits develop partners in the community, strengthen infrastructure and improve marketing, communications and development.
Niu recently earned her 100th career singles win in an NCAA tournament second-round match vs. Notre Dame. This season, Niu has a 20-3 dual record and 29-6 overall mark in singles play.
She is a four-time first-team All-Big Ten recipient, the sixth player in school history to earn the distinction. Ranked No. 35 by the ITA, she'll be participating in the NCAA singles tournament for the first time beginning Wednesday as she faces 15th-ranked Silvia Garcia of Georgia at 12:30 p.m. Central time.
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