CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The America East Conference office announced the 2012 America East Tennis All-Academic squads Wednesday afternoon. The teams feature 13 student-athletes, six women and seven men, who represent the best of the America East Conference, both on the court and in the classroom.
The America East men’s champion Binghamton University leads the way with three selections to the squad. Senior Alexandre Haggai (St. Denis, Reunion Island/Lycee Bellepierre), the 2012 conference Player of the Year, makes his first appearance on an all-academic team. Haggai’s younger brother Ruben (St. Denis, Reunion Island/Lycee Bellepierre) and junior Ruben Devos (Keerbergen, Belgium/Sint-Rombouts College), both first-time selections, complete the Bearcat trio. Each of the three Bearcats are all-conference performers.
Another all-conference performer, UMBC senior Joe Adewumi (Phoenix, Ariz./North Canyon), earned All-Academic status for the third time and is joined by Hartford senior Aneil Bhalla (Ottawa, Ontario/Merivale), also an all-conference player, as the only repeat selections to the men’s squad.
Stony Brook senior Roope Kailaheimo (Helsinki, Finland/Mäkelänrinteen Lukio) and sophomore Nikita Fomin (Moscow, Russia/Bradenton), the 2011 Rookie of the Year, round out the men’s squad.
The women’s all-academic team consists of two repeat selections. Boston University senior Monika Mical (Stalowa Wola, Poland/Spoleczne Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace) and Binghamton senior Marina Bykovskaya (Saratov, Russia/Secondary School 8) both were named to the team last year while Bykovskaya earns her third All-Academic selection.
Bykovskaya is also among among four all-conference selections on the all-academic squad. UMBC sophomore Kim Berghaus (Offenbach, Germany/Leibnizgymnasium), the 2011 Rookie of the Year, and Boston U. sophomore Leonie Athanasiadis (Haltern am See, Germany/Joseph Koenig Gymnasium) both earned second team all-conference honors. Athanasiadis along with Stony Brook senior Katherine Hanson (Smithtown, N.Y./Hauppauge) were second-team all-conference doubles performers this season as well.
University at Albany junior Sarah Iannone (North Vancouver, B.C./Seycove Secondary School) picked up the remaining spot with her first selection to the all-academic team.
The All-Academic squads are a product of the June 2005 Athletics Director meetings, where faculty representatives and athletics directors from each of the conference’s nine member institutions decided to honor the league’s top student-athletes, whom excel equally in the classroom as they do on the playing field.
For the fourth straight year, America East will select the All-Academic teams using CoSIDA’s Academic All-America program as a model. Student-athletes worthy of consideration are nominated by member sports information directors and voted on by a committee of SIDs, academic advisors and faculty representatives from all nine member institutions.
All-Academic squads for team sports are based on the number of athletes that participate in a contest at one time, for example, six student-athletes in the sport of tennis. To be nominated for the distinction, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve for their team and participate in at least 50 percent of their team’s games or competitions. In the classroom, student-athletes must have a 3.30 GPA and have completed at least one calendar year at their institution. Freshmen are not eligible for consideration.
Men’s Tennis All-Academic Team
Joe Adewumi (1) Sr. UMBC
Aneil Bhalla (1) Sr. Hartford
Ruben Devos Jr. Binghamton
Nikita Fomin So. Stony Brook
Alexandre Haggai Sr. Binghamton
Ruben Haggai So. Binghamton
Roope Kailaheimo Sr. Stony Brook
Women's Tennis All-Academic Team
Leonie Athanasiadis So. Boston U.
Kim Berghaus So. UMBC
Marina Bykovskaya (1) Sr. Binghamton
Katherine Hanson Sr. Stony Brook
Sarah Iannone Jr. Albany
Monika Mical (2) Sr. Boston U.
(1) - All-Academic Selection, 2010-12
(2) - All-Academic Selection, 2011