April 17, 2014
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana - UT Arlington men's tennis had four student-athletes taking home Sun Belt All-Conference honors Thursday evening.
Sophomore Carlos Arbiza was named to the All-Conference Singles First Team. Arbiza also teamed with senior Javier Perez on the All-Conference Doubles First Team. Arbiza and Perez reached a national ranking as high as No. 49 this season after several high-profile victories. Arbiza notched a victory over a Top 100 nationally-ranked singles player this season.
Freshman Daniel Armengol also earned two honors during the Sun Belt Conference Championship banquet. Armengol was named to the All-Conference Singles Second Team and paired up with sophomore Austin Robles to earn All-Conference Doubles Second Team.
South Alabama senior Daniel took home the top honor as the Men's Player of Year honoree. Guiding his program to the top seed in the tournaments, UL Lafayette men's tennis head coach Mark earned Coach of the Year honors. The Ragin' Cajuns finished the year ranked No. 64 in the ITA Men's National Rankings after going 18-4 this season.
Leitner went 15-6 in singles matches this spring playing all of his matches at the No. 1 singles position. Leitner, a senior, maintained a 12-4 doubles record playing with seven different doubles partners this season. The native of Niederfischbach, Germany was recognized once this season as the Sun Belt Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week on Feb. 5. He began the year ranked No. 117 in the ITA National Singles Rankings and started the dual-match season undefeated in singles play.
The Sun Belt All-Conference Singles First Team consisted of six men's student-athletes. Leitner and Arbiza were joined by Georgia State freshman Jannis Koeke, a three-time Sun Belt Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week honoree, UL Lafayette senior Rick De Groot, South Alabama's Tuki Jacobs and Troy's Gabriel Sciacca Dias. De Groot notched key victories in the No. 1 singles slot against nationally-ranked teams this season. Jacobs and Koeke both stepped in as true freshmen to deliver a 15-6 and 13-9 singles records respectively. Sciacca Dias went 13-9 this year and earned a Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week honor on March 26.
The Sun Belt All-Conference Doubles First Team consisted of three tandems: Georgia State's Robert Schulze and Sofiane Chevallier, UL Lafayette's De Groot and Jake Wynan and UT Arlington's Arbiza and Javier Perez. Schulze, the Most Outstanding Performer of last year's men's tournament, paired with Chevallier to earn a 9-7 mark this spring. De Groot and Wynan went 11-3 this year to repeat as Sun Belt All-Conference honorees this season.
UT Arlington was seeded No. 4 and takes on No. 5-seeded Troy Friday at 3 p.m. at the City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center.
Player of the Year
Daniel Leitner (South Alabama)
Coach of the Year
Mark Jeffrey (UL Lafayette)
Sun Belt All-Conference Singles First Team
Jannis Koeke (Georgia State)
Rick De Groot (UL Lafayette)
Daniel Leitner (South Alabama)
Tuki Jacobs (South Alabama)
Carlos Arbiza (UT Arlington)
Gabriel Sciacca Dias (Troy)
Sun Belt All-Conference Doubles First Team
Robert Schulze/Sofiane Chevallier (Georgia State)
Rick De Groot/Jake Wynan (UL Lafayette)
Carlos Arbiza/Javier Perez (UT Arlington)
Sun Belt All-Conference Singles Second Team
Hunter Johnson (UL Lafayette)
Edgar Lopez (UL Lafayette)
Jake Wynan (UL Lafayette)
Shayann Vaezzadeh (South Alabama)
Daniel Armengol (UT Arlington)
Daniel Bustamante (Troy)
Sun Belt All-Conference Doubles Second Team
Damian Farinola/Edgar Lopez (UL Lafayette)
Manuel Belda/Gerhard Gruindelingh (South Alabama)
Austin Robles/Daniel Armengol (UT Arlington)