Denver’s Craig, Fort Wayne’s Sato Named Players of the Year
DENVER, Colo. – Denver's Henry Craig earned Men's Player of the Year honors and Fort Wayne's Mayu Sato was named Women's Player of the Year as The Summit League announced its individual tennis awards and all-league teams Thursday evening.
Newcomer of the Year honors went to Denver's Diogo Rocha and Sato. Fort Wayne men's coach Brett Barnett and South Dakota State's Michael Engdahl earned Coach of the Year accolades.
Craig recorded a 3-0 Summit League record without dropping a set at No. 1 singles and combined for a 4-0 record at No. 1 doubles. A three-time Summit League Player of the Week selection, he notched a singles victory against the nation's No. 98 ranked player in January. At No. 102, Craig's ITA singles ranking is the highest in The Summit League and along with Alex Gasson, he is ranked No. 58 in doubles.
Sato led all players with a 6-0 Summit League singles record, winning each match in straight sets at the No. 1 position. She also combined to post four doubles victories against league opposition and was a two-time Summit League Player of the Week selection. Sato is the fourth women's player in league history, and first since 2008, to receive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors in the same season.
Rocha went 5-0 without dropping a set in Summit League play. He also added three doubles wins and teamed with Aidan Talcott to rank No. 88 in the ITA doubles rankings.
Barnett guided the Mastodons to a 4-1 Summit League record and second place regular season finish, tying the school's best men's tennis performance for both league wins and placing.
Engdahl earned his first women's Coach of the Year honor after receiving the men's award last season. He guided the Jackrabbits to a 5-1 Summit League record and a school-best second-place finish.
Men's regular season champion Denver led the way with six all-league selections, tying for the highest total in Summit League history. Alex Clinkenbeard (combined 4-0 at No. 3-5 singles) and Yannik James (2-0 at No. 4 singles) join Craig, Gasson (combined 4-0 at No. 2-3 singles), Rocha and Talcott (combined 5-0 at No. 5-6 singes) to represent the Pioneers. Runner-up Fort Wayne placed two players on the all-league squad in Gerard Guell (combined 4-1 at No. 3-4 singles) and Daniel Kang (4-1 at No. 1 singles). South Dakota State's Parker Lawley (combined 2-3 at No. 1-2 singles) and Henrique Pereira (4-1 at No.4 singles) along with IUPUI's Thomas Gans (combined 3-1 at No. 3-4 singles) and Alex Toliver (3-2 at No. 2 singles) rounded out the men's honorees.
Women's regular season champion Denver paced the all-league team with a league-record seven selections. A trio of Pioneers who finished with a league-best 6-0 record, Charlotte Derbyshire (at No. 5-6 singles), Sonja Radosevic (No. 2-4 singles) and Evy Van Genechten (No. 4-5 singles), were joined by teammates Natalie Dunn (4-0 at No. 6 singles), Kathryn Hughes (5-0 at No. 3 singles) and Caroline Schnell (5-1 at No. 1-2 singles) and Maureen Slattery (3-0 at No. 1 singles). Regular season runner-up South Dakota State had a pair of all-league honorees in Tacy Haws-Lay (5-1 at No. 6 singles) and Iasmin Rosa (4-2 at No. 3 singles). Sato and Omaha's duo of Hylan Miller (4-1 at No. 2 singles) and Alex Tran (4-2 at No. 1 singles) rounded out the squad.
The 2014 Summit League Championships are hosted by the University of Denver and will be played April 25-27 at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver.
Men's All-Summit Team
Alex Clinkenbeard, Denver
Henry Craig, Denver
Thomas Gans, IUPUI
Alex Gasson, Denver
Gerard Guell, Fort Wayne
Yannik James, Denver
Daniel Kang, Fort Wayne
Parker Lawley, South Dakota State
Henrique Pereira, South Dakota State
Diogo Rocha, Denver
Aidan Talcott, Denver
Alex Toliver, IUPUI
Player of the Year: Henry Craig, Denver
Newcomer of the Year: Diogo Rocha, Denver
Coach of the Year: Brett Barnett, Fort Wayne
Women's All-Summit Team
Charlotte Derbyshire, Denver
Natalie Dunn, Denver
Tacy Haws-Lay, South Dakota State
Kathryn Hughes, Denver
Hylan Miller, Omaha
Sonja Radosevic, Denver
Iasmin Rosa, South Dakota State
Mayu Sato, Fort Wayne
Caroline Schnell, Denver
Maureen Slattery, Denver
Alex Tran, Omaha
Evy Van Genechten, Denver
Women's Player of the Year: Mayu Sato, Fort Wayne
Women's Newcomer of the Year: Mayu Sato, Fort Wayne
Women's Coach of the Year: Michael Engdahl, South Dakota State
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
In its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions, 62 All-Americans and 50 Academic All-America selections.