TEMPE, Ariz. – Senior Tiago Fernandes (Porto, Portugal) of the Southern New Hampshire University men's tennis team was selected as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) East Region Senior Player of the Year, while head coach Greg Coache was named the East Region Coach of the Year, when the organization announced its Division II Regional Award winners Wednesday.
Fernandes, on the heels of being chosen as the Northeast-10 Player of the Year for the third straight season, becomes the first male Penmen to ever be selected as the ITA East Region Senior Player of the Year. Fernandes is 21-4, overall in singles play, including 17-3 at the top flight and a perfect 9-0 in league play. SNHU's all-time singles wins leader at 80 and counting, Fernandes has won 14 of his last 15 matches, and is three wins shy of matching the single-season program record of 24 victories that he set a year ago.
Coache, in his 10th season, captures his third ITA East Region Coach of the Year honor on the men's side (2011, 2017), in addition to his one win with the women (2010). Coache, who earned NE10 Coach of the Year honors for the ninth time, including the fifth time on the men's side, has guided the Penmen to a 17-3 record, including their fourth straight NE10 title, fourth consecutive NE10 Regular-Season Championship and fourth straight undefeated conference slate after finishing 9-0. Southern New Hampshire currently owns a 14-match winning streak and has won 46 straight against conference foes, including the postseason. The Penmen won their first NCAA East Regional final and became the first NE10 institution to reach the round of 16 in 17 years.
The top-seeded Penmen return to action Tuesday, May 21 (4 p.m.) when they take on third-seeded Hawaii Pacific University in the NCAA Round of 16 at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla. In the only meeting between the two teams, the top-ranked Sharks blanked SNHU, 7-0, in Honolulu on March 20, 2017.
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