Palisades High alumnus Caroline Vincent, a senior at West Point, has won the 2022 ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award, which is endowed by Billie Jean King.
“Caroline is a championship human being on and off the court, embodying what is great about college tennis,” said ITA CEO Dr. Timothy Russell. “Caroline has exhibited leadership that follows in the footsteps of both Billie Jean King and Ann Lebedeff and exemplifies how tennis is a leader in the world of intercollegiate athletics.
“We congratulate Caroline and wish her well, knowing that she will continue to do great things,” Russell said.
As a four-year starter and current team captain of the Army Women’s Tennis team, Vincent will be honored with a postgraduate scholarship and special recognition at the ITA Awards Weekend in New York later this year. Additionally, the Army Women’s Tennis team will receive a $1,000 donation from the ITA in her honor.
“I am extremely happy and proud of Caroline for receiving the Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award,” said Army Women’s Head Coach Paul Peck. “Caroline epitomizes all the qualities of a leader and student athlete in college athletics.
“She is the ultimate team player and sets an example for the younger players on our team,” Peck said. “I look forward to seeing what she will accomplish in her future endeavors.”
Vincent was a four-year starter on the PaliHi tennis team, coached by Sean Passan and Bud Kling. As a sophomore, she won the City Individual singles title and led the Dolphins to the team championship.
Coach Kling told CTN, “In addition to being a very talented and dedicated tennis player, Caroline also demonstrated excellent leadership skills. She had excellent sense of humor and a warm personality . She was destined to succeed and go on to a higher levels of achievement.”
A Highlands resident, Vincent grew up in a family that emphasized public service. As a senior, she was a highly touted recruit who had multiple Division I scholarship opportunities.
The 5’10” athlete said she selected the Army because she wanted to continue to serve. She was the first PaliHi female graduate to go to West Point.
When she was elected captain of the West Point Tennis team this past year, Vincent sought out several local nonprofits that serve the community. She led the team as they volunteered at a soup kitchen and a food shelter.
Earning First Team All-Patriot League honors this season, Vincent also earned second team honors in 2021, Patriot League Doubles Team of the Year honors in 2021, and helped her team to a Patriot League title and NCAA tournament appearance in 2022. Vincent had a 13-6 record at number-two singles and went 16-6 in number-one doubles with a 7-2 record against League opponents.
At West Point, Vincent is a leader within the Corps of Cadets and has recently been named Battalion Commander where she oversees over 380 cadets ranging from freshmen to seniors.
Vincent has a 4.06 GPA as technical management. She earned the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence given to cadets in the top five percent of their class.
After graduating, Vincent will study Global Affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
“I am so grateful for tennis and the ways it has impacted my path, the people it brought into my life, and the lessons it taught me,” she said. “Although my college tennis days are over, I am eager to remain connected with the tennis community and find ways to give back to the sport I love.”
The ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award endowed by Billie Jean King was created to honor a recent college graduate who played college tennis and demonstrated excellence on and off the court, leadership on his or her team as well as on his or her college campus and in his or her community. The recipient of the award will have demonstrated grit (i.e. passion and perseverance towards long-term goals), a commitment to social justice and equality, and will have pushed others to be leaders in addition to demonstrating his or her own leadership.
Vincent is the fifth recipient of the award. She joins Victoria Flores of Georgia Tech (2021), Daniel Park of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (2020), Andrew Akins of Duquesne (2019), and Nithya Kanagasegar of Case Western Reserve (2018) as winners of the award.