SALUTE TO CHAMPIONS: Men's Tennis
Twice a week this summer, Atlantic10.com will feature a sport-by-sport look back at the 2014-15 season and championships. Check back each week for a review of each sport. Today's look back: Men's Tennis.
The fourth-seeded George Washington Colonials won their second straight A-10 Championship, defeating second-seeded VCU, 4-2 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. GW and VCU have met in the A-10 championship finals the last three years, with the Colonials winning the title in 2014 and 2015.
GW got off to a quick start, winning the doubles point on court two and one. Julius Tverijonas and Danil Zelenkov first defeated Catalin Fifea and Wilder Pimentel, 8-5, before Francisco Dias and Chris Fletcher took an 8-3 decision over Joseph Cohen and Daryl Monfils at top doubles.
After dropping the doubles point, VCU evened the match behind Joseph Cohen on court four, who rattled off six straight games in the second set to win 6-0, 6-2. The Rams would then take a 2-1 match lead on court three as Catalin Fifea won the tiebreak in set one, and the second set, 6-2.
GW's Danil Zelenkov knotted the match back at 2-2, winning sets one and three over Daryl Monfils (7-5, 4-6, 6-3). After winning set one, 6-2, Cahit Kapukiran and Toni Batlle fought to a 12-10 tiebreak in set two, going in favor of GW.
The Colonials clinched the match behind a three-set effort at top singles behind Francisco Dias, winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. Dias earned his third Most Outstanding Performer honor in four years, and also set a new record at GW for career singles victories (87).
VCU's Catalin Fifea was named Most Outstanding Rookie of the Year. The sophomore picked up a ranked win against #107 Leonard Stakhovsky from Penn State, as the Rams beat the #41 Nittany Lions, 4-3 earlier this spring.
Richmond's Ben Johnson, who has led the Spiders to three semifinals appearances in the last four years and the top seed in the 2015 Championship, was named Coach of the Year. Heading into the A-10 Championship, the Spiders had won nine straight matches, including wins over UMBC and Georgetown. Richmond defeated Saint Joseph's in the quarterfinals, 4-1, to earn a spot in the A-10 semifinals, but lost to eventual champion, GW, 4-1 in a match moved indoors due to inclement weather. George Mason picked up a thrilling victory over Davidson, 4-3, before falling to VCU in the semifinals, 4-0.
All-Conference and All-Academic awards were also released following the championship. A full recap of the awards can be found here.
George Washington made its second consecutive NCAA appearance but was outlasted by Wake Forest, 4-0.