UB Men's Tennis Announces Awards
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's tennis squad announced its team awards for the 2011-12 season. Head coach Lee Nickell and his staff made the following presentations: Ivan Vereshchaga was named Most Improved Player; Yevgeniy Jason Shkodnik earned the Bulls Spirit Award for the second consecutive season and Damien David and Vusa Hove were selected as the team's co-Most Valuable Players.
Vereshchaga, a freshman, went 13-13 in singles play and 6-8 in doubles competition. Playing fourth singles, he had a run during the spring of eight victories in nine matches as the Bulls went 8-1 during the stretch. His lone loss in the span came when he was forced to default after the first set.
Shkodnik earned his second consecutive Bulls Spirit Award. A vocal leader on and off the court, the sophomore was 7-10 in singles and 9-8 in doubles. Shkodnik was also 2-2 in Mid-American Conference singles play, primarily from the number six slot. He also combined with Alex Kalinin to form UB's number three doubles tandem which went 7-6 (3-2 MAC).
David finished his freshman campaign with a 25-9 singles record and was 13-16 in doubles play. David broke UB records for most wins in a season and the most by a freshman. Playing first singles for the Bulls, he went 5-0 in MAC contests. His 25 victories were the most by a men's tennis player since Nikesh Singh Panthlia scored 24 victories in the 2008 season. He was named to the All-MAC First Team and was the league's Newcomer of the Year. Additionally, he was named the Northeast Region Rookie of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Hove went 22-5 in singles and 14-12 in doubles. Playing second singles for much of the spring season, Hove finished the 2012 campaign with a 12-match winning streak, including a 5-0 mark against MAC competition. He scored the clinching point in the Bulls' 4-3 victory over Ball State in the MAC Tournament semifinals as he downed Dalton Albertin (a second-team All-MAC honoree) in three sets. A junior, Hove was a first-team All-MAC selection and was named to the 2012 All-MAC Tournament team.
The Bulls finished the 2011-12 season with an 11-10 record and were 4-1 in the Mid-American Conference, earning the top seed at the league's tournament for the second time in the last three seasons. The Bulls fell in the championship match to Western Michigan on April 28.