NEAC Announces 2016-17 Men's Tennis All-Conference Team and Annual Awards

Michael Litz of Penn State Abington was named NEAC Player of the Year after emerging at the No. 1 Singles champion in the individual tournament.
Michael Litz of Penn State Abington was named NEAC Player of the Year after emerging at the No. 1 Singles champion in the individual tournament.

CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. – The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has announced its 2016-17 Men’s Tennis NAC West Division* All-Conference selections, which were determined during the individual tournament that was held at the Birchwood Tennis Club on Thursday and Friday. The 2016-17 men’s tennis annual individual awards were also announced at the conclusion of the tournament on Friday afternoon.

The individual tournament consisted of the top-four seeded student-athletes for first through sixth singles and first through third doubles. Each flight saw the No. 1 seed take on the No. 4 seed and the No. 2 seed take on the No. 3 seed. The first-round winners advanced to the championship round, which produced six singles position champions and three doubles position champions, with those student-athletes also making up the All-Conference First Team. The runners-up from each flight in the championship round made up the All-Conference Second Team.

Penn State Abington freshman Michael Litz (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) earned NEAC Player of the Year honors, marking the third-straight season a player from Penn State Abington has received the award. Litz entered the tournament as the second seed in No. 1 singles, defeating Penn College’s Blake Whitmire (Shickshinny, Pa.), 6-0, 6-0, in the first round. Litz clinched the conference award by defeating top-seeded Will Byler (Lancaster, Pa.) from Penn State Berks by a score of 6-2, 6-4 in the championship match.    

The coaches’ vote for NEAC Rookie of the Year resulted in an unbreakable tie with Litz sharing the honor with Penn State Berks’ Diego Olazagasti (Exeter, Pa.). Olazagasti was the top seed in No. 3 singles of the individual tournament, winning the flight after victories over Penn College’s Nicholas Pascual (Doylestown, Pa.) and Lancaster Bible’s Jason Steiner (Mikado, Mich.). Olazagasti was paired with Nick Volk (Kempton, Pa.) as the No. 1 seed in the third doubles flight. The Berks rookie finished the regular season with a 10-4 record in singles and 10-3 in doubles.

Penn State Berks’ Scott Yarnell was named NEAC Coach of the Year after a vote by the league coaches. Yarnell led the Nittany Lions to their first NAC West Divisional Title after a 6-3 win over Penn State Abington in the team championship match. Penn State Berks boasts a 10-5 overall record, which includes a 3-0 mark against NAC West Division opponents.

Full results from the men’s tournament can be viewed here. The 2016-17 NAC West All-Conference Team can be viewed below.

Flight Winner(s) Name Yr. Hometown Institution
First Team
#1 Singles Michael Litz Fr. Huntingdon Valley, Pa. Penn State Abington
#2 Singles Ryan Fritz Sr. Ephrata, Pa. Penn State Berks
#3 Singles Diego Olazagasti Fr. Exeter, Pa. Penn State Berks
#4 Singles JT Kling Sr. Warminster, Pa. Penn State Abington
#5 Singles Mostafa Rahmy Fr. Cairo, Egypt Penn State Berks
#6 Singles Nick Volk So. Kempton, Pa. Penn State Berks
#1 Doubles

Will Byler

Ryan Fritz

Jr.

Sr.

Lancaster, Pa.

Ephrata, Pa.

Penn State Berks
#2 Doubles

Tarik Dashields

Prerak Patel

Fr.

So.

Wyncote, Pa.

Bensalem, Pa.

Penn State Abington
#3 Doubles

Nick Volk

Diego Olazagasti

So.

Fr.

Kempton, Pa.

Exeter, Pa.

Penn State Berks
Second Team
#1 Singles Will Byler Jr. Lancaster, Pa. Penn State Berks
#2 Singles Sean Kimball So. Furlong, Pa. Penn State Abington
#3 Singles Jason Steiner So. Mikado, Mich. Lancaster Bible College
#4 Singles Evan Holbrook Jr. Rising Sun, Md. Lancaster Bible College
#5 Singles Prerak Patel So. Bensalem, Pa. Penn State Abington
#6 Singles Ilker Erkut Fr. Philadelphia, Pa. Penn State Abington
#1 Doubles

Michael Litz

Sean Kimball

Fr.

So.

Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

Furlong, Pa.

Penn State Abington
#2 Doubles

Grant Batzer

Mostafa Rahmy

Jr.

Fr.

Lititz, Pa.

Cairo, Egypt

Penn State Berks
#3 Doubles

JT Kling

Alexander Dunetz

Sr.

Sr.

Warminster, Pa.

Wyncote, Pa.

Penn State Abington

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference has fourteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University - Abington, Pennsylvania State University - Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville State College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Wells College, and Wilson College.  Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (M Volleyball), Hilbert College (M Lacrosse & M Volleyball), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse & M Volleyball), Penn State Altoona (M Volleyball) and Rutgers University - Camden (M Golf).  The North Eastern Athletic Conference has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of field hockey and men’s and women’s tennis.

*Beginning with the 2010 season, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) in the sport of men’s and women’s tennis. The NEAC will compete as associate members of the NAC in men’s tennis, while the NAC will compete as associate members of the NEAC in women’s tennis. Members from each conference will be divided into an East and West Division for each sport, with each division holding a championship and the two divisional champions then facing off to determine the conference champion. The conference winner for each sport will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships. 

A complete breakdown of the NEAC/NAC tennis partnership is as follows: 

Men's Tennis: NEAC members Bryn Athyn, Keuka, Lancaster Bible, Penn College, Penn State Abington and Penn State Berks will play as associate members of the NAC in a West Division. The East Division will consist of NAC members Castleton, Colby-Sawyer, Green Mountain, Johnson State, Lyndon State, MCLA and Thomas.

Women's Tennis: NAC members Castleton, Colby-Sawyer, Green Mountain, Husson, Johnson State, Lyndon State, MCLA and Thomas will play in the NEAC as associate members in the East Division. The West Division will consist of NEAC members Bryn Athyn, College of St. Elizabeth, Keuka, Lancaster Bible, Penn College, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks and Wells.

For more information, please visit www.neacsports.com.