CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –  The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced today (June 13) that senior Alexander Kiefer (The Woodlands, Texas) has been named the national recipient of the 2024 Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award.

The ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award recognizes outstanding student-athletes in all five divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO) at the regional and national level. This prestigious award, which dates back to 1982, is presented to the men’s and women’s national student-athletes who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership, as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements in ways that embody the legacy of tennis icon and humanitarian Arthur Ashe Jr.

After appearing in just eight matches his freshman year, Kiefer worked hard to earn a spot in the Cavaliers’ lineup, posting a 10-2 record in singles in the fall of his sophomore year and earned a spot in the doubles lineup for the ACC Championship run. In his junior season, Kiefer entered the Cavaliers’ dual match singles lineup, going 10-0 in the ACC in singles play. During the NCAA Championship run, he won the clinching point in UVA’s semifinal win against No. 1 Texas and was voted to the NCAA All-Tournament team at No. 5 singles. This year, he posted his second-straight 20-win season in singles, including going 10-1 in conference play, giving him a combined ACC singles record of 20-1 in his junior and senior seasons. He consistently contributed in doubles, going 10-0 in dual matches during the regular season. Kiefer earned his degree from the McIntire School of Commerce in May 2024. He was voted the men’s tennis Teammate of the Year in 2023.

“Congratulations to Alex Kiefer,” said head coach Andres Pedroso. “He is the first player in our program’s history to have earned this great honor, and he did so by embracing all aspects of his student-athlete experience at the University of Virginia. Alex showed up to Charlottesville with very lofty goals, which included gaining acceptance into the UVA McIntire School of Commerce, as well as solidifying himself as a starting singles and doubles player on a national championship-caliber team.  In the end, Alex graduated with a 3.5 GPA from our prestigious undergraduate business school, and he also played a vital role in our 2022 and 2023 NCAA Team Championships.  Accomplishments such as these resulted from tremendous work ethic, character and a total commitment on his part to earning a world-class education, maximizing as a tennis player and becoming the strongest leader possible for our program.”

Kiefer was the third player in the history of the men’s program to be a finalist for the award, joining Ryan Shane (2016) and Alexander Ritschard (2017). He joins Virginia women’s tennis player Natasha Subhash, who won the award last year, as the only UVA student-athletes to have earned the national honor.

“I am tremendously grateful to receive this award recognizing commitment to service and leading with integrity,” Kiefer said. “From an early age, I was instilled with the core values of respect, open-mindedness, hard work, and humility by my parents. Growing up in a multicultural household and traveling extensively for tennis exposed me to a wide range of cultures and perspectives. These experiences taught me to embrace diversity with curiosity and appreciation. I learned the importance of being patient, flexible, and able to collaborate effectively with others from different backgrounds. Ultimately, I believe in leading a life of service-oriented around helping others. My goal is to have a positive impact on those around me through compassion, hard work, and bringing people together across boundaries. As I have pursued success in my academic and athletic endeavors, I have aimed to uplift my community and pay forward the support I’ve received. It has been an immense privilege to be part of the UVA community.”

Kiefer and the other winners across the NCAA and NAIA divisions will be honored at the 2024 ITA Leadership Awards Weekend in New York during the U.S. Open.