DENVER – Illinois State's Igor Kolaric and Denver's Bianca Mok were named as The Summit League's Tennis Players of the Year highlighting the top league honors announced Thursday evening.
Newcomer of the Year honors went to Kolaric and Denver's Hada Chang. Drake coach Davidson Kozlowski and Denver's Christian Thompson earned Coach of the Year accolades.
Kolaric posted a 4-2 Summit League singles record, matching the league-high victory total at the No. 1 position. For the season, he went 14-4 in singles matches, including a 9-3 mark at No. 1 and 5-1 record at No. 2. Kolaric is the first player since 2013 to claim both the league's Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year award in the same season. The junior from Germany completed his first season with the Redbirds after transferring from the University of Hawai'i.
Mok, the league's Newcomer of the Year in 2016, is the third consecutive Denver player to earn the league's top honor. She posted a league-best 3-0 record at No. 2 singles and added a pair of league doubles wins. For the season, Mok owns a 15-2 singles record and 14-3 doubles mark. The junior, alongside teammate Julia O'Loughlin, currently ranks as the nation's No. 27 doubles team according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
Chang posted identical 3-0 singles and doubles records in Summit League matches this season. The freshman claimed April 3 Player of the Week honors en route to a current 16-2 singles record and 13-4 doubles mark.
Kozlowski received the men's Coach of the Year award after guiding the Bulldogs to a 6-0 league record in the school's first season competing in The Summit League.
Thompson earned her third consecutive women's Coach of the Year accolade after leading her team to a league-record fifth consecutive regular season crown with a 5-0 league record. She is just the third coach in league history, and the first since 2006, to receive three straight awards.
Drake led the way with five men's all-league selections in Ben Clark (6-0 in Summit League singles), Vinny Gillespie (4-2), Finley Hall (4-0), Tom Hands (6-0), and Barny Thorold (3-2).
Denver led with six women's all-league honorees, placing Arisha Ladhani (3-0), O'Loughlin (3-0), Anna Riedmiller (3-0) and Camille Verden-Anderson (3-0) joining Chang and Mok.
The 2018 Summit League Championships are hosted by the University of Denver and will be played April 27-28 at the Gates Tennis Center.
Men's All-Summit Team
Ben Clark, Drake; Vinny Gillespie, Drake; Razvan Grigorescu, Omaha; Finley Hall, Drake; Tom Hands, Drake; Chad Kissell, Valparaiso; Igor Kolaric, Illinois State; Abdul Ouattara, Omaha; Mattia Ros, Denver; Jesse Ruder-Hook, Denver; Matthew Summers, Denver; Barny Thorold, Drake
Player of the Year: Igor Kolaric, Illinois State
Newcomer of the Year: Igor Kolaric, Illinois State
Coach of the Year: Davidson Kozlowski, Drake
Women's All-Summit Team
Mary Bjelica, Western Illinois; Natalia Bravo, Western Illinois; Hada Chang, Denver; Marie Kapelevich, Omaha; Barbora Kollarova, South Dakota; Arisha Ladhani, Denver; Jana Lazarevic, South Dakota; Bianca Mok, Denver; Julia O'Loughlin, Denver; Anna Riedmiller, Denver; Camille Verden-Anderson, Denver; Janelle Wilson, Omaha
Player of the Year: Bianca Mok, Denver
Newcomer of the Year: Hada Chang, Denver
Coach of the Year: Christian Thompson, Denver
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 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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