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Kenyon sophomore Jacob Zalenski (Canton, OH/Jackson) has been named the Player of the Year and the Wabash duo of senior William Reifeis (Indianapolis, IN/North Central) and Patrick McAuley (Indianapolis, IN/North Central) have been named the Doubles Team of the Year to highlight the 2018 All-North Coast Athletic Conference men's tennis team.
Zalenski, who is making his second-straight appearance on the All-NCAC first team in singles, is now the ninth different Lord to earn NCAC Player of the Year distinction. Zalenski, who was also named the NCAC Newcomer of the Year in 2017, has posted an overall singles record this season of 21-7, which included a 15-3 mark in the top flight during dual matches. After winning their 12th-straight NCAC title in late April, Zalenski and the Lords will now compete in the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Tournament for the 17th year in a row as they are set to host Mary Washington in second round action in Gambier, Ohio. In addition, Zalenski was one of 32 players chosen to participate in the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Singles Tennis Championship, which will be held May 24-26 at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont, California.
Reifeis and McAuley were crowned as the NCAC Men's Tennis Doubles Team of the Year after posting an 24-1 record in the top flight this season, which included a perfect 4-0 mark against NCAC opponents in regular season matches.The duo is currently ranked second in the Central Region in both the NCAA and Intercollegiate Tennis Association regional rankings and was selected as one of 16 doubles teams to compete at the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championships. Reifeis and McAuley will be the first Wabash players to compete at the NCAA National Championship Tournament since 1976 when Dave Brooks, Keith Kehlbeck, Mark Miles, and Mike Keele competed at Millsaps College.
Wooster senior Titas Bera (North Potomac, MD/Wootton) and Ohio Wesleyan senior Shouta Fukamachi (Mayfield Hts., OH/Mayfield) each collected their fourth All-NCAC citation as members of the first team this spring. Bera joins Zalenski as the lone repeat first team members in 2018 to go along with second team honors in 2016 and 2015, while Fukamachi earns first team honors in singles play for the first time in his career after earning second team accolades in 2017 and 2016 and honorable mention honors in 2015.
In addition to being apart of the NCAC Men's Doubles Tennis Team of the Year, Reifeis earned his third All-NCAC citation in singles play with an inagural appearance on the first team, while Kenyon sophomore Austin Diehl (O’Fallon, MO/Homeschool) and Denison freshman Vlad Rotnov (Solon, OH/Solon) make their All-NCAC debut on the first team this season.
Reifeis and McAuley were joined on the top doubles team by Denison juniors Kevin Brown (Perrysburg, OH/St. John's Jesuit) and fellow Blake Burstein (Birmingham, MI/Detroit Country Day), and the Kenyon senior duo of Weston Noall (Solon, OH/Gilmour Academy) and Alex Rieger (Madison, CT/Daniel Hand).
Denison's Rotnov was also named the 2018 NCAC Men's Tennis Newcomer of the Year after finishing the dual match season with a 17-7 overall record, which included a 9-6 mark in the top flight during dual matches. He also posted an even 16-7 mark in doubles play, which included a 7-1 record in the third flight with classmate Brian Weisberg (Long Grove, IL/Adlai E. Stevenson).
Finally, Kenyon head coach Scott Thielke was named the NCAC Men's Tennis Coach of the Year for the eighth time in his career after leading the Lords to their 21st overall NCAC Championship. 2018 marks the second time in Thielke's career he has been named NCAC Tennis Coach of the Year on both the men's and women's side, first accomplishing the feat in 2002.