April 25, 2014

Kei Ezaka Wins MAAC Men’s Tennis Rookie of the Year Honors

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – Freshman sensation Kei Ezaka (Ojai, Calif.) of the Quinnipiac University men's tennis team was named the 2014 MAAC Men's Tennis Rookie of the Year, announced Friday, April 25 at the annual awards banquet at the MAAC Championships.

Ezaka, who served as the ace in the team's lineup this year, became the second Division I player at Quinnipiac to receive the award and the first since 2004. Mike Racioppo '08 was tabbed Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year after leading the Bobcats to an 11-6 record in that season.

The Ojai, Calif. native put together a phenomenal season; posting a combined 36-19 record by season's end. He was 19-11 at singles and 17-8 at doubles – setting a new rookie record for most wins in a single-season since Quinnipiac joined the NCAA's top tier of athletics. His 36 wins were the sixth most in a single-season at the Division I level as well.

Ezaka's success began back in the fall season where he picked up tournament flight wins at the Stony Brook Invitational and the UConn Invitational. He was in position to win the Quinnipiac Invitational as well, but had his opportunity cut short due to inclement weather. Ezaka also advanced to the Main Draw second round at ITA Regional's.

Ezaka led the Bobcats in total wins and wins at doubles, and was second on the team in wins at singles. He was tabbed MAAC Rookie of the Week on March 19th after an impressive win over SDSU's ace Andrea Boglić. He battled back from a first set loss, 2-6, and earned a 7-5 victory in the second set and clinched the point with a 10-5 triumph in the tie-break.

Ezaka was 4-3 against MAAC competition. Monmouth's Victor Pugliese and Marist's Lorenzo Rossi were named First Team and Second Team singles by the MAAC. Ezaka took both of them to three sets in their respective matches.

Pugliese was named MAAC Player of the Year and Marist's Tim Smith was tabbed Coach of the Year. Pugliese finished the regular season with an overall record of 21-4 and a perfect 6-0 mark in MAAC play, while Smith led the Red Foxes to a perfect 7-0 record in the conference and 13-4 record overall.

2014 MAAC Men's Tennis Award Winners

All-MAAC First Team
No. 1 Singles: Victor Pugliese, Monmouth
No. 2 Singles: Dalen Klassen, Marist and Ofir Solomon, Fairfield
No. 3 Singles: Will Reznek, Marist
No. 4 Singles: Joe Dube, Marist
No. 5 Singles: Fredik Bjerke, Marist
No. 6 Singles: Christian Vieria, Monmouth
No. 1 Doubles: Lorenzo Rossi/ Will Reznek, Marist
No. 2 Doubles: Trym Nagelstad/ Dalen Klassen, Marist
No. 3 Doubles: Przemyslaw Filipek/ Bee Kumthonkittikul, Monmouth

All-MAAC Second Team
No. 1 Singles: Lorenzo Rossi, Marist
No. 2 Singles: Przemyslaw Filipek, Monmouth
No. 3 Singles: David Raymond, Niagara
No. 4 Singles: Freddy Marcinkowski, Monmouth
No. 5 Singles: Lorenz Schwojer, Niagara
No. 6 Singles: Matteo Giudici, Marist
No. 1 Doubles: Victor Pugliese/ Christian Vieira, Monmouth
No. 2 Doubles: Ramy Bekhiet/Freddy Marcinkowski, Monmouth
No. 3 Doubles: Dylan Fletcher/ Matteo Giudici, Marist and Lorenz Schwojer/ Mathieu Lacasse, Niagara

Player of the Year: Victor Pugliese, Monmouth
Rookie of the Year: Kei Ezaka, Quinnipiac
Coach of the Year: Tim Smith, Marist

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