The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) announced its 2012 Men’s Tennis Awards on Tuesday and three Gustavus players garnered All-Conference in both singles and doubles. Junior Amrik Donkena (Rochester, Minn.) and sophomores Juan Luis Chu (Lima, Peru) and Mya Smith-Dennis (Savage, Minn.) were selected by a vote of the league’s coaches as representatives on the 2012 All-MIAC singles and doubles teams.
Gustavus Head Coach Tommy Valentini was honored as the MIAC Steve Wilkinson Coach-of-the-Year for the first time in three seasons at the helm. Valentini guided the Gusties to their third MIAC regular season championship in as many years as the team’s head coach with a perfect 9-0 conference record, and his squad added the 2012 MIAC Playoffs title this weekend with a pair of victories.
Also garnering All-MIAC singles honors were junior Tyler Johnson (West Bend, Wis.) and sophomore Joey MacGibbon (Apple Valley, Minn.). Two more Gusties made the All-MIAC doubles team as well – seniors Patrick Clark (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) and Daniel Pomeranc (Sau Paulo, Brazil). The seven individual selections to make All-Conference is the largest representation by Gustavus since 2005 when seven were selected as well.
Amrik Donkena claims All-Conference honors for the third-straight season after posting a 19-8 overall record in singles and 27-3 mark in doubles. The Rochester, Minn. native did not drop a conference match all season at 7-0 in singles and 8-0 in doubles. Donkena has turned it on as of late, winning his last five No. 1 singles matches paired with seven consecutive victories at No. 1 doubles with teammate Mya Smith-Dennis.
Juan Luis Chu makes his second appearance on the All-Conference team with a 16-7 overall record in singles and 19-8 in doubles. Chu had just one blemish on his MIAC doubles record at 7-1 in league play, but went undefeated with a 10-0 mark in MIAC singles action. The Lima, Peru native has won six consecutive singles matches and is 14-5 with teammate Daniel Pomeranc.
Making his first appearance on the All-MIAC team is Mya Smith-Dennis. The sophomore out of Savage, Minn. has posted an incredible first year wearing the black and gold with a 22-6 record in singles and 29-4 mark in doubles. Smith-Dennis has gone undefeated in league play in both singles (8-0) and doubles (10-0). He has not lost a doubles match since an April 14 setback at UW-Whitewater and hasn’t dropped a singles match since April 6 against then-No. 8 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Handling the No. 4 singles spot on Valentini’s squad is Tyler Johnson, who makes his third consecutive appearance on the All-MIAC single team. Johnson has gone 19-8 in singles action with a perfect 7-0 mark in league play. Rounding out Gustavus’ representation on the All-Conference singles team is Joey MacGibbon. The Apple Valley, Minn. native has compiled a 19-8 overall record in singles with an 8-0 mark in the MIAC. He also received the league’s final Tennis Athlete-of-the-Week honor after the Gusties claimed the MIAC Playoff title.
Joining Chu, Donkena and Smith-Dennis on the All-MIAC doubles team are Patrick Clark and Daniel Pomeranc. Clark makes the team for the second time in his career and has posted a 12-9 record in doubles action in his final season wearing the black and gold. Clark was also Gustavus’ representative on the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team. Pomeranc is also in his final year of play for the Gusties and he has gone 20-8 in doubles. This is Pomeranc’s first appearance on the doubles squad after making the All-MIAC singles time in the previous two seasons.
Saint John’s University senior Ian Hansen (Dawson, Minn.) was presented the 2012 Arthur Ashe Award. The award annually recognizes a senior tennis student-athlete with outstanding sportsmanship and exemplary athletic, academic and humanitarian accomplishments.
The Gusties received the MIAC’s automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Tournament, and will open postseason play Saturday after a first-round bye. The Gusties will face the winner between UW-Whitewater and Concordia-Wisconsin on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Sunday’s regional final will be played at 1:00 p.m.