Ten PBC Men’s Tennis Players Named All-Americans
SKILLMAN, NJ – Ten Peach Belt Conference men’s tennis players were named All-Americans by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) this week. To be named an All-American, a player must be ranked in the top 20 of the final Campbell/ITA singles rankings or among the top 10 doubles teams in the final ranking. Armstrong Atlantic State, the 2012 National Champions, led all schools in the nation with four All-Americans while Francis Marion and Georgia College had two each. Lander and Augusta State each had one All-American. The Peach Belt by far had more players on the list than any other conference, taking over 1/3 of the spots on the team.
Armstrong won their third national championship in the last five years in May and finished the year with four top-20 players. Sophomore Georgi Rumenov is the #1-ranked singles player in the nation and wit partner Mikk Irdoja has the top doubles team as well. Senior Eudaldo Bonet was ranked #3 in singles with junior Matus Mydla #12.
The All-America honors add to a substantial list of ITA awards for the Pirates. Rumenov was named the National Player to Watch before the national championships began while Irdoja was named the Southeast Region Senior Player of the Year.
The Francis Marion men were 10-7 this past year and earned the program's fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament invitation, and its 16th bid in the past 18 seasons. Six of the team's seven losses were to nationally ranked opponents. Junior Alex Caspari was 14-2 in singles play and ranked 14th nationally and partnered with freshman Gavin Davison to form the #8 doubles team in the nation.
For Georgia College, the doubles team of Jerome Leborgne and Johan Wadstein finished #7 in the nation. The Bobcat duo compiled a 13-8 overall mark, going 6-3 against Peach Belt Conference (PBC) teams. An All-PBC First Team pairing, Leborgne and Wadstein posted ranked wins over No. 5 Alex Caspari and Gavin Davison of Francis Marion University, and No. 24 Nathan Berlyn and Patrick Stiebinger of USC Aiken.
Lander’s Paul-Henri Arrigoni was ranked #17 in the nation to earn All-America status. A junior from Bordeaux, France, he finished 15-4 overall in singles, 6-3 in the Peach Belt, with a 9-4 record at #1 and a 6-0 mark at #2. He was also named an All-Conference singles player.
As one of three seniors on the squad, Augusta State’s Bernando Fernandes was part of a squad that was ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation and earned the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky.
In a span of 19 days, the Jags registered four consecutive victories over teams ranked among the top 17, all in NCAA Tournament play. They advanced to the Final Four, taking down both No. 17 Drury and No. 9 Grand Canyon before bowing out to No. 2 West Florida in the National Semifinals.
Fernandes tallied a 15-8 mark – all at No. 1 singles – and went 3-3 vs. nationally-ranked opponents. He was ranked as high as No. 30 in the nation in singles and teamed with fellow senior Henrique Boturao for a No. 20 doubles ranking and a 16-11 overall record.