2 Hawkeyes Earn ITA Central Regional Honors

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa men’s tennis seniors Kareem Allaf and Jason Kerst were honored on Monday with two regional awards each by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).

Allaf was honored as the Central Regional Senior Player of the Year and Most Improved Senior. Kerst is the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship and Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award.

Allaf ascended to No. 2 all-time in Iowa history in combined singles and doubles victories (146). His 85 career singles wins and 61 career doubles victories rank second and eighth, respectively, in school history.

Allaf was ranked as high as No. 51 nationally this spring, registering an 11-2 singles record (10-2 at No. 1) before the season was canceled on March 12, due to concerns of coronavirus (COVID-19). He also posted a 9-4 record in doubles (7-1 at No 2). Allaf boasted a career-long nine-match unbeaten streak from Jan. 25 – March 6.

Last fall, Allaf made his second straight appearance at ITA Fall National Singles Championships. He won four straight matches at ITA Central Regionals to qualify for the national event.

Allaf recorded four wins over nationally ranked opponents this season, two in the fall and two in spring.

Kerst was a starter on this year’s 12-2 squad that achieved its highest national ranking in program history (No. 20), and was on pace to qualify for the program’s first NCAA Tournament before the season was canceled.

A two-time ISAAC representative, Kerst was elected President of the committee for 2019-20, and served as a Senator for UI Student Government. He received one of the 2020 Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Awards, earned the Presidential Committee on Athletics (PCA) Medallion three times, was a five-time Dean’s List honoree, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, an International Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar Athlete, was the Male Hawkeye of the Year recipient at the 2018 Golden Herkys.

Last month, Kerst was one of two Hawkeye recipients of the annual Big Ten Conference Postgraduate Scholarship. Two student-athletes from each of the 14 Big Ten institutions who plan to continue their education at a graduate degree program were awarded a $7,500 scholarship, based primarily on academic achievements. Following graduation, he will attend the University of South Carolina (on a full academic scholarship), where he will earn an MBA with career aspirations in Athletics Administration.