HADLEY, Mass. – Middlebury sophomore Lubomir Cuba (Massapequa Park, N.Y.) has been named the NESCAC Player of the Year as voted on by the league’s coaches. He owns a 24-2 singles record, including a 14-0 mark in dual matches, while going 18-6 in doubles. Cuba, who also earned All-NESCAC First Team honors, went unbeaten in NESCAC play and won the ITA Division III New England Regional Championship in the fall. He is the eighth Middlebury player to earn the Player of the Year honor, joining Nathan Edwards (2004), Brian Waldron (2006), Alex Scott (2007), Conrad Olson (2009), Andrew Lee (2010), Andrew Peters (2011) and Noah Farrell (2016).
Lubomir Cuba and William de Quant were selected to the First Team All-NESCAC Team in doubles and both players earned First Team honors in singles. Cuba and de Quant went 18-6 at No. 1 doubles for the Panthers and advanced to the finals of the ITA Division III New England Regional Championship this fall. At No. 1 and 2 singles, de Quant posted a 25-7 record for Middlebury and will compete in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
Wesleyan junior Steven Chen repeats as a First Team All-NESCAC singles selection. He posted a singles record of 15-6 for the Cardinals at No. 1 this season. Chen will compete in the NCAA Quarterfinals after the Cardinals earned their first NCAA Championship appearance in program history.
Amherst first-year Jayson Fung was selected as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year. He went 18-5 for the Mammoths in singles, playing positions 2 through 5 on the ladder. Fung also paired with Zach Bessette this season at No. 1 doubles and posted a 12-3 mark to earn First Team All-NESCAC honors in doubles. Fung is the third Amherst player to collect the award, joining Austin Chafetz (2009) and Andrew Yaraghi (2013).
The Williams duo of Brian Grodecki and Alex Taylor round out the First Team All-NESCAC doubles teams. Grodecki, who is a two-time Second Team singles honoree, teamed with Taylor to post a 25-6 record at No. 1 for the Ephs this season. The duo advanced to the semifinals of the ITA Division III New England Regional Championship.
Rounding out the First Team singles players are Vlad Murad of Colby, Ben Rosen of Bates and Grant Urken of Bowdoin. Murad, who earns All-NESCAC honors for the third time in his career, posted a 12-5 record at No. 2 singles this season and went 6-1 in the NESCAC and 11-1 in his last 12 matches. Rosen repeats at a First Team All-NESCAC player in singles and was also named to the Second Team in doubles this season. Rosen played at the No. 1 position for the Bobcats and posted an 11-2 record. Urken, who also earned a spot on the All-NESCAC Second Team in doubles this season, is 24-6 at No. 2 singles for the Polar Bears as he helped Bowdoin win the NESCAC Championship and advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
Wesleyan senior Michael Liu was selected as the Clarence Chaffee Sportsmanship Award winner for the second straight year and is the only Cardinal to receive the honor. The award is given annually to the individual who best combined and displayed a high standard of tennis coupled with the highest levels of sportsmanship. Liu and doubles partner Jake Roberts are alternates in the upcoming NCAA Championship.
Conor Smith of Bowdoin was voted the NESCAC Coach of the Year by his peers for the second straight year and the third time in his six-year career, having also received the accolade in 2012 and 2016. Smith led the No. 4-seed Polar Bears to their second NESCAC Championship and first since 2008. Bowdoin, the defending national champions, also earned its 16th trip to the NCAA Tournament in 18 seasons.
Men's Tennis All-Conference Teams