MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The Illinois Tech men's tennis team went a perfect 9-0 in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) this season, so one could expect the league's all-conference awards to be littered with Scarlet Hawks. On Friday, this is exactly what happened, as Franklin Zhong was named the league's player of the year, Pol de Santiago was named the NACC's Freshman of the Year, Erik Scanlan was named the conference's Coach of the Year, and five different Scarlet Hawks earned All-NACC honors.
A native of Lee's Summit, Missouri, senior Franklin Zhong was named the NACC Player of the Year and to the NACC's All-Singles team. Zhong was 14-8 overall and 7-0 in NACC singles matches this season, going 5-1 in the No. 1 spot and 7-3 in the No. 2 spot. He enters the NACC Tournament on a five-match win streak and 8-2 in his last 10.
The NACC's Freshman of the Year and an All-Singles selection, Pol de Santiago was 8-10 overall and 1-0 in NACC play. Primarily the team's top singles player, he was 8-9 in the No. 1 spot this year.
As a pairing, Zhong and de Santiago earned All-Doubles honors. The duo went 10-10 overall and 4-0 in conference play, going 10-9 in No. 1 competitions.
Also earning an All-NACC singles nod was sophomore Yousef Abdo. The native of Cairo, Egypt was 9-12 overall, 3-1 in NACC player, and 1-0 as a No. 1 singles player. Abdo and Mohammed Shamel were also named an All-NACC Doubles pairing, as the tandem was 5-1 overall, 4-0 in NACC contests, and 3-0 in the No. 1 spot.
Davis Housman earned All-NACC singles honors as a freshman. The Texas native was 12-8 overall, 5-0 in NACC matches, and a perfect 3-0 as the team's No. 2 singles player. His primary singles spot this year was No. 4, where he went 8-7.
Erik Scanlan was named the league's Coach of the Year in just his second season as head coach. Rookies to the NACC, Scanlan's crew ran the table in the NACC's regular season, with the team's closest match being a 6-3 win. Tech was a startling 77-4 in NACC play and went 16-9 overall, going 134-87.
With the regular season now in the rearview mirror, the Scarlet Hawks are set to seek a NACC Tournament title and NCAA Division III Tournament berth. Tech will oppose fourth-seeded Edgewood on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. at Nielsen Tennis Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A victory would put the Scarlet Hawks in a 1:00 p.m. championship match against the winner of #2 Concordia-Wisconsin and #3 Milwaukee School of Engineering.