May 6, 2010
Center Valley, Pa. - The Army women and Navy men emerged victorious as Patriot League Champions in April and have learned their NCAA Tournament destinations. The Black Knights will head to Los Angeles on Friday, May 14 for a date with No. 7 seed UCLA. The match is set for 1 p.m. pacific time. Navy will take the relatively short trip to Charlottesville, Va., to take on top-ranked Virginia for the second consecutive year. The match will begin at 1 p.m. eastern.
Patriot League Tennis Release - 5.6.10
Male Tennis Player of the Month
Owen Bullard, Navy Jr., Concord, N.C.
Bullard finished April with a 12-6 record overall, going 7-2 in doubles and 5-4 in singles. He recorded a 10-2 overall mark against League opponents, including a 3-0 doubles record and 2-1 in singles at the League tournament. For his efforts, he was named the Joe Abrahamson Tournament MVP for helping Navy win its fourth straight Patriot League Championship and trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Female Tennis Player of the Month
Tania Varela, Bucknell Sr., Quito, Ecuador
Varela went 9-0 in singles and 7-0 in doubles during the month of April to extend her school-record streaks to 19 straight singles wins and 18 consecutive doubles victories. She finished her career as the program's all-time winningest player at No. 1 singles (41-11) and setting the record for best winning percentage at that flight (.788). She became the first Bison to be a four-time All-League selection, was voted Player of the Year by the coaches and received the school's prestigious Bradley N. Tufts Award.
Patriot League Notebook
Army, Navy Represent Patriot League Again
The Army women and Navy men extended their League title streaks and will play in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Black Knights captured their sixth consecutive Patriot League Championship with an exciting 4-3 victory over Bucknell on April 18. The Mids wrapped up their fourth straight League crown by defeating Army, 4-2, on April 25 to earn the automatic bid to the field of 64. Navy travels to Charlottesville, Va., for the second year in a row to take on No. 1-ranked Virginia on Saturday, May 15. The Cavaliers defeated the Mids, 4-0, in the tournament's first round last year. Army heads west to Los Angeles to face seventh-seeded UCLA at 4 p.m. eastern, 1 p.m. pacific on Friday, May 14.
Navy's Birger, Lehigh's Arthofer Voted Scholar-Athletes of the Year
Lehigh senior Julie Arthofer and Navy junior Nick Birger have been named the Patriot League Women's and Men's Tennis Scholar-Athletes of the Year, respectively, it was announced on Wednesday. Arthofer finished 5-12 in singles and 5-13 in doubles this season. She carries a 3.82 cumulative grade point average as an economics major and volunteers with Lehigh's C.O.A.C.H. program to educate young student-athletes on the importance of informed decision making. Birger is an honors political science major with a 4.00 cumulative GPA and is ranked first in his class in the Overall Order of Merit. He was an ITA Scholar-Athlete in 2008.
Senior Standout Wins Player of the Year
Bucknell senior Tania Varela was voted Player of the Year by the League's women's tennis coaches. Varela finished her career with a 37-match winning streak, including a school-record 19 straight in singles and 18 in doubles. She recorded a 30-6 mark at No. 1 singles this season and last lost a match to a League opponent in March 2007. Army's Erin Colton and Paul Peck were named Rookie and Coach of the Year, respectively. The Black Knights led with five All-League selections, including Annie Houghton, Kristin Beehler and Colton on the First-Team and Michael Tollerton and Jess Ahn on the Second-Team. Bucknell followed with three All-League honorees (Varela and Lauren Lucido on the First-Team, Demi Iepuras on the Second-Team), while two Navy players earned the distinction (Emani Decquir on the First-Team, Brittney Boucher on the Second-Team). Lehigh's Julie Arthofer became Lehigh's first four-time All-League honoree when she was named to the Second-Team. Colgate's Elise DeRose and Kelsey Grad of Lafayette were named to the Second-Team.
List Becomes Lehigh's First Player of the Year
Lehigh junior Troy List was voted by the League's coaches as the Player of the Year for men's tennis. He is the first Mountain Hawk to win the award, which went to Navy's Nate Nelms last year. Navy coach John Officer was voted Coach of the Year for the fourth straight time, while Gary Kushnirovich became Army's second consecutive Rookie of the Year. The Naval Academy led with four All-League selections, with Owen Bullard and Jeremy New earning First-Team honors and Marcus Rebersak and Nicholas Gutsche being named to the Second-Team. Army placed three on the All-League team, with Chris Albornoz joining Kushnirovich on the First-Team and John Lucero making the Second-Team. Lehigh and Colgate each had two players earn All-League honors, with Collin Laffey joining Mountain Hawk teammate List on the First-Team. Raiders John Nogueras and Michael Yassky were voted to the Second-Team. Lafayette senior Eric Wiley was named to the First-Team, while Bucknell freshman Josh Katten was honored as a member of the Second-Team.
Army 2010 marked the first time since 2006 that both the men and women's teams entered the respective tournaments as the top seed. The women held serve and won the League title, but the men fell 4-2 to second-seeded Navy in the finals. Jurelle Mendoza was named the John "Pat" Rooney Tournament MVP for her win at No. 5 singles to clinch the women's title. At 20-9, the women have reached the 20-win mark for the third consecutive year. 15th-year head coach Paul Peck was named Coach of the Year for the 11th time. The women have won six League titles in a row and head to Los Angeles, Calif., to take on seventh-seeded UCLA on Friday, May 14 at 4 p.m. eastern, 1 p.m. pacific.
Bucknell The women's tennis championship match has not been kind to the Bison, who fell to Army for the sixth year in a row on April 18. It was a hotly contested match that ultimately saw the Black Knights capture a 4-3 victory. Tania Varela finished her stellar career in Lewisburg with a school-record 19 straight wins in singles and 18 consecutive victories in doubles. The men wrapped up the season with a loss in the men's tournament semifinals. Freshman Josh Katten earned All-League honors.
Colgate The women's season ended in the semifinals of the League tournament at the hands of eventual champion Army. The men lost a tough quarterfinal match to Lehigh to finish their campaign 9-8. John Nogueras and Michael Yassky earned All-League honors on the men's side, while Elise DeRose was so honored from the women's team.
Holy Cross Both teams' respective seasons concluded in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament by 4-0 scores at the hands of Navy. The women concluded with a 4-7 mark in the spring, while the men finished 3-11.
Lafayette Head coach Eric Ratchford had one player from each of his teams earn All-League honors, with senior Eric Wiley making the First-Team and freshman Kelsey Grad being placed on the Second-Team. Both the men and the women lost in the quarterfinals of the tournament to Bucknell, with the women being downed 4-0 while the men took a 4-2 loss.
Lehigh Junior Troy List was named men's Player of the Year, becoming the first Mountain Hawk to earn the nod. After a 4-1 win over fifth-seeded Colgate in the men's quarterfinals, Lehigh's season ended in the semis against No. 1 Army. The women dropped a tough 4-1 decision to No. 4 Colgate in the women's quarterfinals. The men finished 10-12, while the women concluded at 4-14.
Navy The men are in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year and are making their fifth appearance in the last 12 years. Owen Bullard was named the Joe Abrahamson Tournament MVP as the Mids defeated Holy Cross, Bucknell and top-seeded Army to win the crown. The women completed their first season in the Patriot League with a 13-4 overall mark. After beating Holy Cross in the tournament quarterfinals, they lost 4-0 to second-seeded Bucknell. Freshman Emani Decquir and junior Brittney Boucher earned All-League honors.