League announces Tennis All-League honors

The Summit League released the 2019 Tennis All-League awards.
The Summit League released the 2019 Tennis All-League awards.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – With the 2018-19 Summit League tennis regular season coming to an end, league officials announced the annual all-league awards at the Pre-Championship banquet Thursday evening.

On the women's side, Denver went home with all three individual awards. Senior Bianca Mok claimed the Player of the Year award, while freshman Tatum Burger picked up the Newcomer of the Year honor. Mok tallied four Summit League Player of the Week honors this season and is tied for the league lead in singles and doubles' victories with a 5-0 record in both. She is currently ranked No. 101 in that nation and holds an overall singles record of 14-2 and a 14-4 doubles mark.

Burger is the third Pioneer in four years to earn the Newcomer of the Year honor. She is also tied in league singles with a 5-0 record against league foes and owns a 3-0 doubles mark on the season. The freshman enters the championship with an overall singles record of 14-4 and also owns 12 doubles victories.

Denver's head coach Christian Bass secured her fourth-straight Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Pioneers to their sixth-straight Summit League regular season championship. Bass' squad logged its sixth-straight perfect winning percentage with a 5-0 record. The Pioneers are currently 15-5 overall and enter the championship ranked No. 47 in the nation.

On the men's side, Valparaiso junior Brandon Ancona took home the Player of the Year honor, while North Dakota freshman Nejc Sitar claimed the Newcomer of the Year honor. Ancona won five league singles matches and won the Summit League Player of the Week honor three times during the season. He went 15-3 overall in singles matches, including six wins at the No. 1 spot and eight at the No. 2 position.

Sitar is the first athlete from the Fighting Hawks to win an annual award in North Dakota's inaugural season in the league. He went 3-1 in league doubles matches and finished the season 12-6 overall in doubles this season.

Denver men's head coach Ricardo Rubio took home the second Coach of the Year award of his career after helping the Pioneer to their fifth league regular-season title in six years. Rubio's team finished league play undefeated and arrive at the championships with an overall record of 12-8.

On the women's all-league team, the Pioneers had six honorees headlined by Mok for the fourth year in a row. Two-time honorees Arisha Ladhani, Hada Chang, Anna Riedmiller and Camille Verden-Anderson joined freshman Burger in earning the honor.

Completing the women's all-league team were two-time honorees Jana Lazarevic of South Dakota and Janelle Wilson of Omaha. Wilson's Maverick teammate, Natalie Lorentz, and North Dakota's Isa Sullivan made their first appearance on the all-league team.

Representing the Pioneer men on the all-league team were Mattia Ros and Matt Summers for the second year in a row. Fellow DU teammates Daniel Krulig and James Davis made their first appearance on the team. Drake's Vinny Gillespie, Tom Hands and Ben Clark also earned a spot on the all-league team for the second straight year as teammate Calum MacGeoch earned his first career honor.

Rounding out the men's selections are two-time honorees Abdoul Ouattara of Omaha and Igor Kolaric of Illinois State. Valparaiso's Kweisi Kenyatte and Ancona received the first awards of their careers.  

Men's Individual Awards
Player of the Year
Brandon Ancona, Valparaiso

Newcomer of the Year
Nejc Sitar, North Dakota

Coach of the Year
Ricardo Rubio, Denver

2018-19 All-Summit League Men's Tennis Team
Mattia Ros, Denver
Tom Hands, Drake
Kweisi Kenyatte, Valparaiso
Calum MacGeoch, Drake
Ben Clark, Drake
Daniel Krulig, Denver
Brandon Ancona, Valparaiso
Abdoul Ouattara, Omaha
Vinny Gillespie, Drake
Matt Summers, Denver
Igor Kolaric, Illinois State
James Davis, Denver 

Women's Individual Awards
Player of the Year
Bianca Mok, Denver

Newcomer of the Year
Tatum Burger, Denver

Coach of the Year
Christian Bass, Denver 

2018-19 All-Summit League Women's Tennis Team
Bianca Mok, Denver
Kaede Amano, North Dakota
Tatum Burger, Denver
Preethi Kasilingam, North Dakota
Camille Verden-Anderson, Denver
Hada Chang, Denver
Arisha Ladhani, Denver
Jana Lazarevic, South Dakota
Anna Riedmiller, Denver
Janelle Wilson, Omaha
Natalie Lorentz, Omaha
Isa Sullivan, North Dakota

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Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.

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