ST. LOUIS - Five Saint Louis men's tennis players were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athletes for the 2011-12 academic year, and the Billiken women's tennis squad was named an ITA All-Academic team while placing four student-athletes on the Scholar-Athlete list.

Saint Louis tied for the highest number of ITA Scholar-Athletes among Atlantic 10 Conference men's programs. Dave Welkener, Drew Feder, Nishaad Balachandran, Patrick Kella and Vuk Poledica earned the distinction, making SLU one of just 41 NCAA Division I men's programs to place at least five student-athletes on the list. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a letter winner who registers at least a 3.5 grade point average for the entire academic year.

The Billiken women achieved a department-best 3.538 team GPA last year, easily surpassing the minimum 3.2 required for the ITA All-Academic award. SLU is among 112 NCAA Division I women's teams to garner the award and one of just five A-10 women's programs to be recognized.

Jenny Nalepa, Mia Elmore, Stephanie Hollis and Brooke Urzendowski collected ITA Scholar-Athlete accolades. Saint Louis tied for the third-highest number of honorees among A-10 women's programs.

"We are extremely proud of the academic accomplishments by our women's and men's tennis teams for the 2011-12 academic year," head coach Jon Zych said. "Our student-athletes strive for all-around growth, achievement in the classroom and a fun, rewarding learning experience. They are vivid examples of classroom success and high standards. We are proud to have student-athletes in our program who represent SLU positively and who embody the Jesuit motto of always reaching higher for new goals. This tangible acknowledgement of hard work is well deserved."