Worcester, Mass. – Since Clark joined the New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in men's tennis back in 1999, only one player in school history had ever been named to the all-conference team. That all changed on Tuesday afternoon when six Cougars picked up all-conference accolades in a vote by the league's six coaches.
Junior Diego Angel (Lima, Peru) took home the biggest prize, earning the league's player of the year award after finishing the season with an 11-2 record at No. 1 singles, including a 4-1 mark against conference opponents. The 2010 NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, Angel has a career mark of 26-7 (.788) at No. 1 singles.
During the season at one point Angel won nine straight matches, including a grueling three set victory over Wheaton College's Neall Oliver (4-6, 6-3, 10-4) that helped Clark beat the Lyons for the first time in school history.
Dan Stein (Newton, Mass.) earned second-team honors at No. 2 singles after a sophomore campaign that saw him go 14-3 (.823), including an 11-3 ledger at No. 2 singles. He was named NEWMAC singles player of the week back on March 19 after opening up the season 5-1 through the first six matches. He went on to 9-1 before dropping a three-set battle to MIT's Matthew Skalak (6-4, 3-6, 4-6) in the Cougars' near upset of the Engineers back in early April. Stein avenged his loss to Josh Fischer of Coast Guard in the NEWMAC Tournament semifinals, defeating Fischer (6-3, 6-4) in straight sets to help Clark advance.
Several freshmen emerged for the Cougars in 2012 and a pair of them earned all-conference honors. Josh Burger (Fairfield, Conn.) was named second-team fourth singles following a standout inaugural season in which he posted a 13-4 record (.764) and went 7-3 at No. 4 singles. Two of his losses came at the hands of first-team all-conference selection Blake Maurer of Coast Guard and another came in a marathon match to Stonehill College's Aaron Bergeron back in October (7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (4-7), 5-10). In between, however, Burger was spectacular, winning 12 of his 13 matches – ten of which were straight set triumphs. He was excellent in league play, posting a 3-1 mark, rallying to knock off Avi Walden of MIT (6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-4), besting Danny Schneider of Babson (6-3, 6-2) and Wheaton's Sam Jackson (6-3, 6-4). He was also just one of only two players this season – joining his teammate Angel – to be named NEWMAC player of the Week (April 9) and be a part of doubles team of the week (March 26).
In addition to Burger, Joel Simonson (Waterford, Conn.) had a stellar first season at the collegiate level to earn second-team all-conference at sixth singles. Simonson actually led the Cougars in wins, going 15-4 (.789), including an 8-2 record at No. 6. He opened his career up winning eight of his first nine matches and went 2-2 against league opponents. After playing at No. 5 in the regular season finale at Coast Guard, he returned to his normal slot at No. 6 and had the match-clinching win over the Bears' Jon Lightner (4-6, 6-2, 6-2), sending the Cougars to the NEWMAC Championship.
The doubles combination of Dan Hall (Sutton, Mass.) and Philip Porter (Cortland Manor, N.Y.) were selected as the third doubles second-team, joining forces to go 6-4 on the season. That duo had huge NEWMAC wins over Zach O'Leary and Joe Giannelli of Springfield (8-3) and Kyle Kiernan and Sam Jackson of Wheaton. They also had the Cougars only doubles win in the conference semifinals win over Coast Guard, taking the match over Matt Faha and Andrew Bryson (9-8 (7-4) after having dropped an 8-6 decision to them less than a week before.
Head coach Mickey Cahoon was named the 2012 NEWMAC Men's Tennis Coach of the Year after guiding the Cougars to a 16-4 record – the third-most wins in a single season in school history. He mentored a roster loaded with underclassmen, helping two of them earn all-conference honors while guiding the team to their first ever appearance in the conference championship.
2012 NEWMAC Men's Tennis All-Conference and Awards
Athlete of the Year
Diego Angel, Clark
Rookie of the Year
Ramone Doyley, Babson
Coach of the Year
Mickey Cahoon, Clark
Tournament Most Outstanding Player
Tymor Hamamasy, MIT
First Team All-Conference
No. 1 Singles: Edwin Zhang, MIT
No. 2 Singles: Josh Fischer, Coast Guard
No. 3 Singles: Nick Martin, Coast Guard
No. 4 Singles: Blake Maurer, Coast Guard
No. 5 Singles: Jesse Boyd, Springfield
No. 6 Singles: Joe Giannelli, Springfield
No. 1 Doubles: Matthew Skalak/Edwin Zhang, MIT
No. 2 Doubles: Blake Maurer/Josh Fischer, Coast Guard
No. 3 Doubles: Zach O'Leary/Joe Giannelli, Springfield
Second Team All-Conference
No. 1 Singles: Diego Angel, Clark
No. 2 Singles: Dan Stein, Clark
No. 3 Singles: Dan Sharon, Wheaton
No. 4 Singles: Josh Burger, Clark
No. 5 Singles: Hubert Cromback, Babson
No. 6 Singles: Joel Simonson, Clark
No. 1 Doubles: Greg Mitchell/Nick Martin, Coast Guard
No. 2 Doubles: Curtis Wu/Larry Pang, MIT
No. 3 Doubles: Philip Porter/Dan Hall, Clark