NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Richmond senior Jacob Dunbar and Davidson freshman Axel Fries have been named the Atlantic 10 Conference Men's Tennis Most Outstanding Performer and Rookie Performer, respectively, which was announced Monday following a vote by the league's 12 head coaches. In the same vote, Richmond's Ben Johnson was named Coach of the Year.
Dunbar finished his senior campaign with a 32-7 overall record at No. 1 singles. He helped the Spiders to a record number of wins (25), the longest win streak in Richmond history (22) and the first A-10 finals berth in over 10 years. In doubles, with partner Alex Felisa, they recorded an overall 26-4 record at the No. 1 position. This season Dunbar beat two nationally ranked players in the finals of the ITA Regionals and was ranked as high as 52 in the ITA singles and 58 in the ITA doubles rankings. Dunbar went 2-1 in singles play at the A-10 Championship and 3-0 at doubles. The Medina, Ohio, native was a First Team All-Conference performer his prior three years with the Spiders, this year adding to his stellar career is again taking home First Team All-Conference honors along with his Performer of the Year accolade.
Fries sported an overall record of 18-5 in both singles and doubles during his freshman campaign. The Stockholm, Sweden, native went 8-1 at No. 5, 2-0 and No. 4 and 8-4 at No. 3 singles this season, progressively moving up spots in the lineup. Fries went 5-1 in singles and doubles in conference play. He had significant wins over his VCU, Central Florida and Virginia Tech opponents. The rookie was also selected as a member of the Second Team All-Conference.
Johnson is now in his seventh season as the head coach of the Spiders. This year he led Richmond to an impressive 22-match win streak and a program record of 25 wins. Since taking over the reins of the Spiders in 2010, Johnson has seen 21 of his student-athletes earn All-Atlantic 10 accolades, including 11 First-Team honors, one Rookie of the Year in 2013 (Dunbar) and one Performer of the Year in 2017 (Dunbar).
Joining Dunbar on the All-Conference First Team is Davidson's Shamael Chaudhry; Dayton's Jordan Benjamin; George Washington's Chris Fletcher, Chris Reynolds and Julius Tverijonas; Richmond's Alex Felisa; Saint Joseph's Tim Stierle; and VCU's Marten Jonsson, Vitor Lima and Daryl Monfils.
Joining Fries on the All-Conference Second Team is teammate David Hager; Dayton's Zach Berry and Carsten Fisher; Duquesne's Adam Blasinsky; George Mason's Pally Ray; Ricmond's Canyon Teague, Caleb Troy and John Karlawish; Saint Louis' Juan Calero; and VCU's Arvid Noren and Ignacio Rivero Crespo.
The All-Academic team which is voted on by the league's sports information directors, included Davidson's J.B. Gough; George Mason's Daniel Gutierrez; George Washington's Julius Tverijonas; Richmond's Caleb Troy; Saint Joseph's Kyle Chalmers; and Saint Louis' David Ferragut.