Niagara Gazette — WEST WINDSOR, N.J. — Niagara University hopes their men and women can both earn a trip to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tennis finals Sunday at Mercer County Park. First , they'll compete in semifinals today with the women facing Marist at 10 a.m. while the men will play against Fairfield beginning at 2 p.m.
It's already been a weekend of honors for Niagara, with the school collecting several honors at the MAAC's awards banquet held last night. Purple Eagles tennis coach Anthony Nguyen was named the MAAC Anaconda Sports Coach of the Year for both the men's and women's divisions.
Three male players received All-MAAC honors. Olivier Dufour-Coursol was named to the first team at No. 3 singles, while David Raymond and Lorenz Schwojer were named to the second-team in two and four singles, respectively. Grand Island resident Matt Mucci, Raymond, Schwojer, Michael Elortegui, Brandon Gallegos and Mathieu Lacasse were all named to the MAAC All-Academic Team.
In the women's division, six Purple Eagles won MAAC honors. Sarah Hellstern, Maria Ortiz and Iva Celan were all awarded first team honors in singles while Niagara Falls resident Jenna McCune, Hilary Hansen and Ashley Ta earned first team selections in doubles. McCune, Lancaster resident Rachel Zilka, Hansen and Ortiz were all named to the MAAC All-Academic Team.
The Purple Eagles are hopeful they'll soon accomplish equal greatness on the court, beginning with this weekend's conference tournament.
"We're happy to be in the tournament but at the same time we know, going through the season or even going through this weekend, we have much higher and much loftier goals than just making the tournament," Nguyen said.
Both squads are seeded third in the MAAC tournament. As the players see it, three is merely a number.