May 8, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – 2012 Patriot League champion Navy continued with its awards haul as the Midshipmen placed a League-high three student-athletes on the All-League team and captured two of the three major awards, it was announced Tuesday.
Navy freshman Calvin Mark was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year, while Mids’ John Officer was tabbed the Coach of the Year.
Rounding out the three major awards was Army sophomore Asika Isoh, who was named Player of the Year.
The All-League team and major awards are voted on by the League’s seven head coaches who cannot cast a ballot for their student-athletes or themselves.
Navy tied with Army and Lehigh with three All-League selections apiece, while all three of Navy’s student-athletes were named to the first team. Army and Lehigh placed two apiece on the top squad, which expanded to eight players to accommodate for ties in the voting. Normally each team is comprised of six student-athletes.
Bucknell, Colgate and Lafayette finished out the squad with one nod apiece.
Isoh posted a 15-8 record this season for the Black Knights, who captured the No. 3 seed in this year’s Patriot League Tournament and advanced to the championship final in a bid to successfully defend last year’s crown. Isoh, who shared the Tournament MVP honors last season, went 5-1 in matches against League opponents and played at the No. 1 singles slot for head coach Jim Poling. He was named to the All-League first team for the second year in a row.
Mark was outstanding for the Mids, posting 56 combined wins on the season while going 7-0 against League opponents in singles matches and 6-1 in doubles. Mark was responsible for the clinching points in both of Navy’s League Tournament victories last month en route to being named to the Joe Abrahamson Award as Tournament MVP. He posted a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles over Bucknell’s Evan Zimmer in the semifinals before logging a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Army’s Alex Van Velzer in the championship match to secure the championship. Mark is the fifth Mid named Rookie of the Year since the award’s inception in 2002, and added first-team All-League laurels to his awards recognition.
Officer collected the Coach of the Year nod for a Patriot League-record seventh time and fifth in the last six years. Navy went a perfect 5-0 against League squads during the regular season to clinch the No. 1 seed to the tournament, which happened to be hosted in Annapolis. Navy is 18-8 entering the NCAA Tournament, where the Mids will take on No. 12 seed Florida on Saturday after capturing their ninth Patriot League title and fifth in the last six seasons.
Joining Mark on the first team from Navy were senior Marcus Rebersak and freshman Peter McDonald. Rebersak was 4-1 against League foes during the season, with his loss coming to Isoh in the Mids’ 4-3 regular-season triumph over Army. He led his semifinal match against Bucknell’s Gregg Cohenca and had split the first two sets with Isoh in the finals. McDonald went 28-3 at doubles and 21-8 at singles during a stellar freshman campaign, which included a combined 13-1 singles and doubles mark against League opponents.
Isoh’s teammates Alex Van Velzer and Peter Sienko also earned All-League recognition. Both freshmen, Van Velzer earned first-team laurels while Sienko was named to the second team. Van Velzer went 14-10 on the season, while Peter Sienko collected 15 wins, including a perfect 6-0 mark against League opponents this season.
Lehigh placed a pair on the first team in sophomore Mark Goldberg and freshman Ben Gilman, while freshman Mitchell Peterson earned second-team laurels. Goldberg, one of the League’s top rookies a season ago, was the Mountain Hawks’ No. 1 singles player this season and was part of their No. 2 doubles pair. He went 10-8 in doubles, including 4-1 against League opposition. Gilman went 17-3 at No. 2 singles with a 5-1 mark against League foes while going 12-8 overall at the top doubles flight. Peterson slid into the No. 3 slot in the singles lineup and went 14-6 overall with a 5-1 League mark. Including his doubles mark, he combined to go 24-14 and 9-2 against League foes.
Colgate sophomore Luke Gensburg garnered first-team All-League honors for the second year in a row. The 2011 Rookie of the Year, Gensburg was the Raiders’ top singles player during the season and was part of their No. 2 doubles tandem. He finished the season 14-7 in singles, and at one point had won 10 consecutive matches.
Lafayette senior Doug Gallagher and Bucknell junior Evan Zimmer each made the second team. Gallagher was the Leopards’ No. 1 singles player all season and picked up a head-to-head win over Gensburg during the season. Zimmer won six Patriot League matches at doubles, posted 34 for the season and earned a bid to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships with partner Gregg Cohenca later this month.
2012 League champion Navy continues its season Saturday when the Mids travel to Gainesville to visit No. 12 seed Florida in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The match is scheduled for noon.
Zimmer and Cohenca begin competition at the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships May 23 at the Dan Magill Tennis Center in Athens, Ga.
2012 Patriot League Men’s Tennis Awards
Player of the Year – Asika Isoh, Army, So.
Rookie of the Year – Calvin Mark, Navy, Fr.
Coach of the Year – John Officer, Navy
First Team All-Patriot League^
Marcus Rebersak, Navy, Sr.
Luke Gensburg, Colgate, So.
Mark Goldberg, Lehigh, So.
Asika Isoh, Army, So.
Ben Gilman, Lehigh, Fr.
Calvin Mark, Navy, Fr.
Peter McDonald, Navy, Fr.
Alex Van Velzer, Army, Fr.
Second Team All-Patriot League
Doug Gallagher, Lafayette, Sr.
Evan Zimmer, Bucknell, Jr.
Mitchell Peterson, Lehigh, Fr.
Peter Sienko, Army, Fr.
^ - First Team features eight student-athletes because of a tie in the voting. Normal size is six.