NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – VCU’s Max Wennakoski and George Washington’s Danil Zelenkov have been named the Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Tennis Most Outstanding Performer and Most Outstanding Rookie Performer, respectively, in a vote by the league’s head coaches. In the same vote, VCU’s Paul Kostin has been named Coach of the Year.
Wennakoski earned Most Outstanding Performer honors as the highest ranked singles player in the A-10 this year, holding a spot in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Top-30 throughout the entire spring and ranking as high as No. 14. The senior finished with a 20-4 singles record, 32-9 overall, his 32 singles wins placing him in the top five in VCU history for a single season. The Helsinki, Finland native, picked up wins over five ranked players this spring and has been a part of three Rams conference titles, including this year’s A-10 Championship team, and will compete in his fourth and final NCAA Championship.
Zelenkov finished his spring riding a ten-match win streak at No. 3 singles for the Colonials, including a three set win over VCU’s Alejandro Argente in the Atlantic 10 Championship finale to become the second straight Colonial to win the Most Outstanding Rookie Performer award (Francisco Dias, 2012). The Skopje, Macedonia product earned a league-high seven Rookie of the Week honors, as he posted a record of 17-4 in singles and a 14-6 doubles record this spring en route to GW’s third consecutive appearance in the A-10 Championship match.
Joining Wennakoski on the twelve-member All-Conference first team are fellow Rams Alejandro Argente and Alexis Heugas; Charlotte’s Jordi Massalle Ferrer and Jack Williams; Fordham’s Srikar Alla; George Washington’s Francisco Dias, Nikita Fomin and Danil Zelenkov; Richmond’s Ethan Dunbar; and Xavier’s Mesa Mei and Jimmy Roebker.
The All-Conference second team consists of Butler’s Billy Weldon; Charlotte’s Paul Cisti; Duquesne’s Pete Carpenter and Rich Robbie; George Washington’s Alexander van Gils; Richmond’s Jesse Feder; Saint Joseph’s Jose Sierra and Alex Veronis; Saint Louis’ Bobby Kidera; VCU’s Jaime Vazquez and Michal Voscek; and Xavier’s Zach Mueck.
The six-member all-academic team includes Charlotte’s Alex Calott; George Washington’s Ulrik Thomsen; Richmond’s Paul Nahon; St. Bonaventure’s Oscar Yanez; VCU’s Max Wennakoski; and Xavier’s Jimmy Roebker.
In his 23rd year at the helm for VCU, Paul Kostin became just the fourth Division I tennis coach to record his 1,000th overall career victory as the top-seeded Rams defeated George Washington, 4-3, for their first ever Atlantic 10 Men’s Tennis Championship. Kostin added two conference titles to his resume this season (22 overall) as head coach of the men’s and women’s programs, and will lead both squads in this year’s upcoming NCAA Championship, their 33rd and 34th appearances.
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