May 15, 2013
FORT WORTH—The TCU men’s tennis team collected a pair of ITA regional awards following its run to the NCAA tournament, as assistant coach Mark Tjia and senior Orlando Superlano were honored Wednesday by the organization.
Tjia was named the ITA Texas Regional Assistant Coach of the Year after helping to lead the Horned Frogs to their best season since 2008 with an 18-10 overall record and top-35 national ranking. The squad advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010 and the first time in head coach David Roditi’s tenure.
“Mark is very deserving of being recognized for the job he has done here at TCU,” Roditi said. “I think of Mark as another head coach. It would be impossible to find a more committed, humble, loyal, respected, knowledgeable and competitive partner for me to coach this team. We are very lucky to have him, and I know he will be a head coach somewhere very soon. I wish we could keep him here forever, but I know he wants to lead his own team.”
A four-year letterwinner for TCU from 1989 through 1992, Tjia arrived on campus alongside Roditi prior to the 2011 season. He formerly served as the head tennis professional at the 300 Swim and Tennis Club in Gainesville, Fla., for more than a decade and was a volunteer assistant coach for the Florida women’s tennis team that reached the final round of the 2010 NCAA Championship.
Tjia played singles and doubles for three top-10 TCU teams between 1989 and 1992, including the 1989 squad that reached the semifinal round at the NCAA Championships. A Florida native, Tjia played his entire college career under legendary former TCU coach Tut Bartzen. Following his college days, he played professionally and served as a coach on the WTA Tour. He also penned and published the book “Loving the Battle!” - Tips to Improve Your Tennis Performance.
Superlano received the ITA’s Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award for the Texas Region. The award, which dates back to 1982, recognizes players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
“To have a player representing TCU and be associated with the Arthur Ashe name is an honor to our program,” Roditi said. “Orlando led this team on the courts, in the locker room and in the gym this season. He competed with all his heart and displayed great sportsmanship. It is not often that you see someone be that competitive, fiery and intense while displaying such class and sportsmanship. I am happy for Orlando and congratulate his parents for teaching him the right way.”
A senior from San Cristobal, Venezuela, Superlano was selected as a team captain prior to his final season as a Frog and served as a team leader both on and off the courts. He took his leadership role a step further by being active in the promotion of the sport of tennis on the TCU campus that resulted in the program setting an all-time national season attendance highwater mark since the ITA started keeping records.
Superlano was one of TCU’s strongest players this past season, earning All-Big 12 Conference honors in singles and leading the squad in the spring season with a 19-6 individual singles record. He also paired with doubles partner Arnau Dachs to notch a 13-7 record at the No. 3 position for the Frogs.
In addition to his work on the courts and in the tennis community, Superlano also is strong in the classroom. He was named an Academic All-Big 12 Second-Team selection earlier this spring for holding down a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.