Francis Marion University freshman men's tennis player Richard Ashforth has been selected as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Rookie of the Year for the Southeast Region.
Two weeks ago, Ashforth earned second-team All-Peach Belt Conference singles honors and was named the league's Freshman of the Year.
Ashforth, a native of Durban, South Africa, compiled a 13-2 singles mark playing mainly at the No. 2 position, and is ranked 23rd among NCAA Division II singles players. He posted a 9-1 mark in conference play with his only loss coming at the hands of the 25th-ranked player in Division II. Three of his victories came against regionally ranked opponents.
Ashford won 27 of the 33 sets he played this season, including winning the decisive singles match in 5-4 victory over Wingate University on Feb. 16. He was named the PBC Player of the Week on Feb. 18, and was selected to the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll for both the 2013 fall semester and the 2014 spring semester.
In doubles play, he and Gavin Davison registered an 11-5 mark and are ranked seventh in the most recent regional rankings.
Francis Marion ended the 2014 campaign with a 7-9 record and is ranked 27th in the latest ITA national poll.
ITA Regional Rookie of the Year
Atlantic -- Andrew Ponder, West Liberty University
Central -- Mathaus Spiering, Harding University
East -- Mariano Porter, Chestnut Hill College
Midwest -- Ritchie Kruunenberg, Ohio Dominican University
South -- Ahmed Triki, Barry University
Southeast -- Richard Ashforth, Francis Marion University
South -- Central Michael Maciel, St. Mary's University
West -- Thibaud Berland, Hawaii Pacific University