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Five Pioneers named to All-SAC team

Five Pioneers named to All-SAC team

ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Five members of the Tusculum men's tennis team have been selected to the All-South Atlantic Conference team, in voting conducted by the league's head coaches and released by the conference office on Wednesday.

Senior Tomas Kmetko was named second-team All-SAC and senior Tashique Kader was an honorable mention honoree in singles, while the doubles teams of Kader and freshman Gabriel Yaguar along with senior Toby de Klerk and sophomore Yago Fernandez were named honorable mention as well.

Together, they helped the Pioneers to a 14-7 regular-season record and sixth place in the SAC standings with a 5-5 conference record. All seven of the Pioneers' losses came to teams that were nationally ranked at some point during the 2018 season.

Kmetko, a second-team All-SAC selection in singles for the second straight year, finished the season with eight consecutive victories after dropping from the #1 to the #2 position in the Pioneer lineup. He compiled an 8-2 record in conference matches, with seven of the eight victories coming in straight sets. Kmetko finished the season with an overall record of 9-8, with four of the losses coming in either three sets or a match tiebreaker. THe Bratislava, Slovakia native has a two-year record of 19-13 for the Pioneers.

Kader earned All-Conference honors in singles for the first time in his career after posting a 9-5 overall record for the Pioneers, playing nearly all of his matches at #4 singles. Kader went 7-2 in conference matches, while boosting his career singles record to 48-26. A native of Obertshausen, Germany, Kader had seven straight-set wins among his nine victories, and saw three of his five losses come in either a third set or a match tiebreaker.

In doubles, Kader and Yaguar teamed up for an 8-7 overall record, including a 5-5 record in conference matches at #1 doubles. For Kader, it is the third time in his career he has been named All-Conference in doubles, after earning honorable mention status in 2015 and second-team honors in 2016. The pair had a six-match winning streak at midseason and went 1-1 in tiebreakers. Yaguar, a native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, had an overall doubles record of 9-7 this season to go along with an 11-2 singles mark.

Fernandez and de Klerk led the Pioneers in doubles victories this season, going 11-6 overall and 6-4 in conference matches. The pair saw most of their action at #2 doubles, finishing with an 8-5 record at the flight. Fernandez, a native of Aviles, Spain, was a second-team All-SAC pick in singles last season, while de Klerk, who hails from Bergen op Zoom, The Nethelands, makes an All-Conference team for the first time in his career. de Klerk has a career doubles record of 41-19, while Fernandez has a 26-16 career mark in doubles competition.

Daniel Belsito of Wingate was honored as the conference Player of the Year, with Freshman of the Year honors going to teammate Josep Canyadell. Billy Boykin of Queens was selected Coach of the Year after leading the Royals to a share of the SAC regular-season championship and the top seed in the conference tournament.

2018 SAC Men's Tennis Conference

First Team Doubles
Josh DuToit/Daniel Belsito, Wingate
Mark Watt/Henrik Hellbe, Coker
Hamed Gandouz/Shane O'Dea, Lenoir-Rhyne 

Second Team Doubles
Julian Bosch/Joel Dunlap, Queens
Nikhil Mannepalli/Angel Pizarro, Newberry
Hufelder Duarte/Tomas Depiaggio, Anderson 

Honorable Mention Doubles
Agustin Aran Martin/Sebastian Meum, Queens
Tashique Kader/Gabriel Yaguar, Tusculum
Toby de Klerk/Yago Fernandez, Tusculum

First Team Singles
Daniel Belsito, Wingate
Joshua Peress, Lincoln Memorial
Mark Watt, Coker
Edison Ambarzumjan, Newberry
Ignacio Bidegain, Anderson
Agustin Aran Martin, Queens 

Second Team Singles
Josep Canyadell, Wingate
Julian Bosch, Queens
Constantin Ernstberger, Lincoln Memorial
Tomas Kmetko, Tusculum
Luca Picci, Catawba
Jose Navarro, Newberry 

Honorable Mention Singles
Tales Miranda, Lenoir-Rhyne
David Segarra, Lincoln Memorial
Ben Reid, Mars Hill
Hamed Gandouz, Lenoir-Rhyne
Tashique Kader, Tusculum
Hunter Horton, Coker

Player of the Year: Daniel Belsito, Wingate
Freshman of the Year: Josep Canyadell, Wingate
Coach of the Year: Billy Boykin, Queens

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