Nini Lagvilava (left) and Sid Hazarika (right) are the 2013 America East Men's and Women's Tennis Players of the Year.
Nini Lagvilava (left) and Sid Hazarika (right) are the 2013 America East Men's and Women's Tennis Players of the Year.
Courtesy: America East Communications

Conference Champions Net Yearly Tennis Awards

Release: 05/03/2013

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Fresh off repeat America East tennis championships, Binghamton freshman Sid Hazarika and Stony Brook senior Nini Lagvilava were unanimously named 2013 Male and Female Players of the Year, respectively. Award winners and all-conference selections were determined by the league’s coaches, regardless of position.

Hazarika was also unanimously named the conference’s Rookie of the Year, joining Stony Brook’s Aretem Baradach (2008) as the only other player to win both awards in the same year. The first-year standout posted an impressive 20-3 record in singles play, including a 9-1 mark at the No. 1 spot. Hazarika was also a first-team selection in both singles and doubles play, where he paired with senior teammate Bastian Bornkessel to make a formidable tandem.

Lagvilava was named the Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, becoming only the second player to ever win the award in back-to-back seasons, joining Stephanie Nunic of Boston U. The senior is ranked No. 124 in the ITA Women’s National Singles Rankings and only dropped two singles matches all season. Lagvilava also earned unanimous selection to the first team singles and doubles teams and became the first player in school history to be selected to the NCAA singles tournament.

The women’s Rookie of the Year award went to Stony Brook’s Jackie Altansarnai. In her freshman season, Altansarnai was 9-3 in singles play, with much of her action coming at the No. 2 and 3 spots. She was a huge part of the Seawolves repeat bid, making an instant impact in both singles and doubles play. Altansarnai also earned second team recognition for her singles and doubles performance this season.

The coaching staffs for both conference champions were honored with the Coaching Staff of the Year awards. For Adam Cohen and his staff at Binghamton, it is the fourth such honor since 2008, as the Bearcats are in the midst of an impressive championship streak that has now reached six years. Gary Glassman and the staff at Stony Brook earned the honor for the first time since 2002 on the women’s side, though the staff has been honored twice more on the men’s side. The Seawolves have been dominant in winning back to back championships, becoming the only team aside from Boston U. to boast multiple America East women’s tennis titles.

The rest of the men’s first-team includes six more from Binghamton. Ruben Haggai, Robin Lesage and Alexander Maisin joined Hazarika on first-team singles, while Bornkessel and Ismael Dinia paired with Hazarika and Lesage, respectively, on first-team doubles . Freshman Justin Carter of UMBC and Stony Brook sophomore Mons Knudtzon round out the singles lineup for first team. Carter and teammate Gaulthier Berret round out first-team doubles.

Four UMBC Retrievers highlight second-team singles, as Berret, Daniel Gray and freshman teammates Alex Drean and Melker Svard are honored. Dinia and Boston U.’s Josh Friedman comprise the rest of the singles team. The Binghamton tandem of Haggai and Elliott Hureau are joined by Stony Brook’s duo of Knudtzon and Morales and the UMBC pair of Drean and Gray on second-team doubles.

Lagvilava headlines the women’s first-team singles and is joined there by teammate and doubles partner Polina Movchan. That pair also combined for a unanimous election to the first-team doubles lineup. Two Albany Great Danes, Irene Santos-Bravo and Rocio Lopez Alberca, were also selected to earn top singles honors, while Binghamton’s Katya Medianik and Boston U. rookie Lauren Davis round out the squad. Joining Stony Brook’s top doubles tandem on the first-team is the Albany No. 1 duo of Lopez and Kirsten Scott as well as Boston U.’s Leonie-Charlotte Athanasiadis and Jessi Linero.

Altansarnai highlights the second-team singles selections and is joined by fellow rookie Sara Kohtz of Binghamton. Kohtz’s teammate Alexis Tashiro, a pair of Boston U. teammates in Vivien Laszloffy and Sami Lieb and UMBC’s Josefin Stange-Jonsson also earned second-team singles honors. The doubles pairings of Altansarnai and Louise Badoche, Laszloffy and Lieb and Davis and Kim McCallum also take home second-team honors.