ETSU Tennis Teams Sweep A-Sun Preseason Picks
Olivares
Olivares

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Bucs Olivares and Stupak both picked as Preseason Player of the Year

 

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 7, 2009) - With the spring tennis season right around the corner both the ETSU men's and women's tennis teams were selected to win both the regular season and Atlantic Sun Conference tournament titles according to the polls selected by the league's head coaches, the conference announced Wednesday.

 

The two-time defending A-Sun champion men's squad heads into the New Year currently riding a 25-match conference winning streak. The Bucs last league lost came to Belmont in the 2006 A-Sun tournament semifinals. Since that loss to the Bruins the Bucs have boast an impressive six straight tournaments wins, not dropping a point in any of its contests.

 

""It's a huge accomplishment and honor for our team to be picked as the preseason favorite," said head coach Yaser Zaatini. "There are many teams in this league that could win a championship this year. Hopefully, this will give our guys some confidence as we move forward. With the A-Sun having so many great coaches in it, every team has to bring it to the courts day-in and day-out in order to take home a championship."

 

Individually, senior All-American Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela), who enters the spring season as the No.9th ranked player in the country, was voted by the leagues coaches as the 2009 Preseason "Player of the Year." The three-time A-Sun all-conference selection is coming off an outstanding fall season in which the Buccaneer captain defeated 24 of the top ITA ranked player in the country, in addition to winning the prestigious Southern Intercollegiate tournament.

 

""This is a big honor for Enrique to be named Preseason Player of the Year," Zaatini said.  "He's such a hard-working player and after the fall season he had and I know he's one of the best players in the A-Sun and country. It's been so fun watching and coaching him. He's one of the best tennis players I've coached, but more importantly he's a great student and leader for our young team."

 

On the women's side ETSU enters the season with a good mix of young and veteran players. The Bucs garnered five first-place votes edging out league foe Stetson who had four. Despite two consecutive losses in the A-Sun tournament finals to Jacksonville coach Steve Brooks' squad heads into the year with a lot of confidence after an outstanding fall campaign.

 

""It is an honor to have our team selected as preseason A-Sun regular season and tournament champions," Brooks said.  "There are a lot of good teams in this conference.  Although we are picked to win - there are probably five or six teams who could win the regular season this year."

 

Individually, junior Yevgeniya Stupak (Kyiv, Ukraine) was also selected as the league's 2009 Preseason "Player of the Year," by the A-Sun women's tennis head coaches. Stupak finished the fall season with a remarkable 12-3 singles record, winning the USC Upstate Fall Bracket, UNC/Duke Kitty Harrison Invitational and Virginia Tech Fall Classic.

 

"It is great for Yevgeniya (Stupak) to be selected by the other coaches as preseason Player of the Year," said Brooks. "She is has worked so hard and is very talented. She has the potential to become one of the best players ever to represent the A-Sun in both the NCAA national tournament and NCAA rankings."

 

Below is a breakdown of both the men's and women's final preseason votes.

MEN'S RESULTS

 

Place

School (First Place Votes)

Pts

1.

ETSU (7)

116

2.

Stetson (4)

112

3.

Campbell

88

4.

USC Upstate

79

5.

UNF

77

6.

Jacksonville

67

7.

Belmont

59

8.

FGCU

53

9.

Mercer

39

10.

Kennesaw State

27

11.

Lipscomb

18

 

Tournament Champion: ETSU

Player of the Year: Enrique Olivares (ETSU)

 

WOMEN'S RESULTS

 

Place

School (First Place Votes)

Pts

1.

ETSU (5)

110

2.

Stetson (4)

109

3.

Jacksonville

96

4.

USC Upstate (2)

92

5.

UNF

72

6.      

Campbell

63

7.      

Kennesaw State

47

8. 

FGCU

46

9.    

Belmont

44

10. 

Mercer

28

11.

Lipscomb

18

 

Tournament Champion: ETSU

Player of the Year: Yevgeniya Stupak (ETSU)

 

For more on the ETSU men's and women's tennis, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the each team's page.

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