GW Men's Tennis Earns 10 A-10 Postseason Honors
Dias Named Most Outstanding Performer, Munoz Tabbed League's Coach of the Year
April 28, 2014
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Junior standout Francisco Dias has been named the Atlantic 10 Men's Tennis Most Outstanding Performer for the second time in his career, and eighth-year Head Coach Greg Munoz has been tabbed Coach of the Year, the league announced on Monday. Additionally, Dias, senior Nikita Fomin, rookie Julius Tverijonas and sophomore Danil Zelenkov were named to the All-Conference First Team, seniors Viktor Svensson and Ulrik Thomsen earned a spot on the Second Team, and Thomsen and Zelenkov were also named to the All-Academic Team.
Each member of the GW lineup picked up a year-end award from the league, and the Colonials' 10 postseason honors are the most for any team in the Atlantic 10. It is also the most-ever postseason awards for the Buff and Blue in one year.
"We knew this was going to be a very difficult year with only six players competing in every match and this year will be remembered as something very special to all of us," said Coach Munoz. "We grew as a team and everyone supported and took care of one another. During the A-10 finals, everything we had been working toward became something exceptional. We will continue to push ourselves at the national level, and this team has set a new standard for future teams to raise even higher."
Top-seeded GW recently won its third A-10 title in four seasons on April 20 after knocking off second-seeded and 50th-ranked VCU by a 4-1 decision. After dropping the tightly contested doubles point to the Rams, the Colonials powered back for singles wins at the Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 spots to earn the crown.
Dias earns his second Performer of the Year nod and third First Team honor in as many years after producing an overall singles mark of 17-10 this season. He joins Matt Hane ('02, '04) as the only Colonials players to earn the conference's Performer off the Year award twice. Following his freshman campaign in 2012, Dias became the first-ever A-10 men's tennis student-athlete to earn the distinction of both Most Outstanding Performer and Most Outstanding Rookie Performer of the Year. Dias went 11-7 this spring, including 8-5 at the top spot for the Colonials, while defeating four nationally ranked opponents this year. The Lisbon, Portugal native helped GW to the A-10 title - the second in Dias' career - with a 6-3, 6-3 win over the Rams' No. 67 Alexis Heugas. He and freshman Julius Tverijonas are currently the No. 83 doubles team in the nation, and the two have gone 12-7 this spring.
Coach Munoz earns his third A-10 Coach of the Year nod in four seasons after guiding his squad to its third league title under his direction and an overall record of 17-7. Coach Munoz saw the Colonials post a seven-match win streak from Feb. 23 - March 12 and reach the 17-win plateau for the third straight season as they went 5-5 against top-70 competition. He earned his 100th career victory on March 2 when then-unranked GW knocked off No. 70 Charlotte (4-0), No. 60 UNC Wilmington (4-0) and East Carolina (4-1) in a weekend tripleheader in North Carolina. Coach Munoz has coached 38 A-10 All-Conference selections and has compiled an overall record of 112-70 at the helm of the Colonials' program. Next week he will lead his team to its third NCAA Tournament appearance.
Fomin, who garners his second straight A-10 First Team nod, helped GW claim the conference title when he clinched the match at No. 2 singles. After falling behind in the first set, Fomin powered back to claim the next two sets over Alejandro Argente and lift the Colonials over VCU. The Moscow, Russia native enters the NCAA Regionals with an overall singles record of 18-10 and a 12-5 mark this spring, including 10-2 in the second flight. He and doubles partner Danil Zelenkov own a team-best record of 16-7 and have gone 13-5 as the Colonials' No. 2 duo.
The reigning A-10 Rookie Performer of the Year and a 2013 All-Conference First Team selection, Zelenkov owns a team-best overall singles record of 21-7. He has gone 15-3 in dual matches this spring, a notable 13-1 at the No. 3 spot, and is currently riding an 18-match unbeaten streak dating back to Feb. 23, while he has won 14 of those tilts and four have gone unfinished. Zelenkov helped GW avenge VCU for the 2014 conference crown with a three-set win last weekend. The sophomore standout and doubles partner Fomin produced a team-best record of 16-7 and the pair has gone 13-5 at the No. 2 slot for GW. The All-Academic nod is the first for Zelenkov, who is an international affairs major with a concentration in international politics and owns an overall grade-point average of 3.96. He is a member of the GW Athletics Academic Dean's List and was named to the Fall 2013 Atlantic 10 Commissioner's Honor Roll.
A first-semester freshman with the Buff and Blue, Tverijonas garners his first A-10 First Team selection. He went 13-6 in singles this season, including 8-4 at the No. 4 spot, and earned a 3-0 record against his conference foes. The rookie was also a part of GW's top doubles tandem as he and Dias are currently the No. 83 team in the nation, and have gone 12-7 this spring. Tverijonas was named A-10 Rookie Performer of the Week three times this season, and enters the NCAA Tournament with a 7-1 record in his last 10 matches, while two bouts have gone unfinished.
Svensson earns his second postseason honor as he was named to the All-Conference Second Team following his freshman campaign. The senior captain went 18-11 overall and 14-6 this spring, and he posted a 7-1 mark at the No. 5 singles spot. Svensson defeated the first nationally ranked opponent of his career this fall in No. 122 Sidharta Hazarika of Binghamton. He is currently on a 10-match unbeaten singles streak and has won 14 of his last 18 matches, while three have gone unfinished. He and No. 3 doubles partner Thomsen have produced an overall record of 11-8.
Thomsen picks up his third A-10 honor after being named to the All-Conference Second Team as a sophomore, while his All-Academic honor is his second in as many years. He has gone 12-8 overall in singles and owns a mark of 11-7 this spring season. He and No. 3 doubles partner Svensson have gone 11-8 this spring, including 6-4 in their last 10 matches. An international affairs major, Thomsen owns an overall GPA of 3.93 and he produced a perfect 4.0 during the fall semester. He is a member of the GW Athletics Academic Dean's List and was named to the Fall 2013 Atlantic 10 Commissioner's Honor Roll.
GW earned its third bid to the NCAA Team Championship and will learn its regional location and opponent on Tuesday, April 29. Fans are invited to join the Colonials in the Champions Club of the Charles E. Smith Center at 4:30 p.m. for their NCAA Selection Show watch party.