SAN BRUNO, Calif. — Newcomer Damon Kesaris made his immediate mark in Saint Mary's and in the West Coast Conference as he was named Freshman of the Year and All-WCC First Team, the conference announced today.
Kesaris is just the third Gael to win Freshman of the Year, and the first since Frank Schmitt in 2001. His first team honor is also the first since Joel Kusnierz did it in 2008.
“Damon had a great season and we are proud of how he has become a leader on and off the court,” said Saint Mary's head Greg Kennett. “He worked very hard to put himself into a position to come to the United States. Going undefeated in singles conference matches is an amazing feat.”
The first year player started off as the No. 2 singles player in dual action. After starting 0-3, Kesaris found his stride and won three straight to finish at 3-3 on court 2.
Kesaris would elevate his game further to the No. 1 singles spot. Playing as the top singles player for Saint Mary's, he would win his first six matches and improve to a nine match win streak. He would be a perfect 4-0 in WCC matches and end the year 7-2 as the top singles player.
“His potential is limitless,” said Kennett. “As he matures and gets physically stronger, I see him as one of the top players in college tennis over the next few years.”
Along with his impressive accolades, Kesaris was also named Honorable Mention with doubles partner Nash Vollenweider. The duo was the No. 1 doubles pair for the Gaels and ended the season an overall 8-9. The tandem went 4-4 in WCC matches with highlight victories over UC Davis, San Francisco and Santa Clara.
2017 WCC Men's Tennis Postseason Award Winners
Player of the Year: Michail Pervolarakis, Portland
Freshman of the Year: Damon Kesaris, Saint Mary's
Coach of the Year: Aaron Gross, Portland
All-WCC First Team Singles
Miguel Diaz, Pacific
Guilherme Hadlich, Pepperdine
Damon Kesaris, Saint Mary's
Michail Pervolarakis, Portland
Jacob Sullivan, BYU
Filip Vittek, San Diego
All-WCC Second Team Singles
Gabriel Diaz-Freire, Loyola Marymount
Mathieu Garcia, Portland
Andrew Gu, Santa Clara
Pedro Iamachkine, Pepperdine
Robert Seby, Santa Clara
Mert Zincirli, San Francisco
Singles Honorable Mention: Nick Borchenko, Loyola Marymount; Tadiwa Chinamo, Pacific; Carlos Donat, Portland; Alex Giannini, Pacific; Johan Jonhagen, San Francisco; Stefan Menichella, Pepperdine; Guilherme Osorio, San Diego
All-WCC First Team Doubles
Nick Borchenko and Gabriel Diaz-Freire, Loyola Marymount
Michail Pervolarakis and Mathieu Garcia, Portland
Filip Vittek and Josh Page, San Diego
All-WCC Second Team Doubles
Aidan Carrazedo and Jacob Sullivan, BYU
Jack Van Slyke and Stefan Menichella, Pepperdine
Guilherme Hadlich and Gabriel Sidney, Pepperdine
Doubles Honorable Mention: Alex Giannini and Miguel Diaz, Pacific; Akram El Sally and Tadiwa Chinamo, Pacific; Damon Kesaris and Nash Vollenweider, Saint Mary's; Connor Garnett and Vasileios Iliopoulos, Santa Clara; Robert Seby and Jesus Tapiador Barajas, Santa Clara
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