Saint Mary's won four impressive singles matches Sunday to defeat GCU.
Saint Mary's won its season opener versus the Hornets on a cool Friday afternoon.
In 2017, Kennett sent the Gaels to an overall record of 7-16. The Gaels went 2-7 in WCC action, marking the program's first conference win since 2015. During the season, Kennett had freshman Damon Kesaris named to the WCC First Team, and Freshman of the Year honors. Kesaris was the first Gael to be named WCC Freshman of the Year since 2008, and just the third Gael to capture the feat.
In his first season at the helm, Saint Mary's improved their overall record by one game to finish at 5-17.
Kennett's squad earned a pair of All-Conference awards under his first year, as senior James Markiewicz was named to the WCC All-Academic First-Team while sophomore Nash Vollenweider took All-Academic Honorable Mention honors.
His expertise has not gone unnoticed, as Kennett was awarded Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors for the 2005-06 season, his second such honor. His leadership skills led Illinois State on a record-breaking season, as Kennett and his team swept the conference, 7-0, enabling the `Birds to clinch their first ever regular-season conference title. Kennett also led his team to a 13-match winning streak; another first in ISU history.
Entering his eighth year as head coach, he has accumulated many coaching accolades: including four MVC individual champions, three MVC doubles champions, five MVC Scholar-Athletes and 12 all-conference selections.
Under Kennett's direction, Illinois State has had winning seasons in six years, garnering 102 wins in his seven years as head coach.
Kennett is no stranger to the game of tennis. He has been part of winning programs since his days at Bloomington High School. In high school, Kennett captured the state's doubles championship in 1985.
After high school, Kennett continued his playing career at Eastern Michigan. After two successful seasons, he transferred to Illinois to complete his collegiate career. At Illinois, he continued to demonstrate his leadership abilities and was named team captain as a senior. In 1991, Kennett graduated from Illinois with a bachelor's degree in political science.
After graduation, Kennett continued his playing career. From 1989-1992 Kennett competed in satellite tournaments and played with the St. Louis Aces of the Professional World Team Tennis Leagues in 1997.
Prior to his first collegiate coaching job, Kennett had the opportunity to coach some of the highest ranked junior players in the nation as the senior professional at St. Louis' prestigious Creve Coeur Racquet and Paddle Club.
In 1997, Kennett broke into the collegiate coaching ranks and the rest is history. That year, Kennett took over the reigns at Division III Washington University in St. Louis. During his two-year tenure, Kennett's teams went a combined 35-9, which included six wins against Division I opponents and one player making it to the Division III national-title match.
Kennett also has extended his knowledge to other youth tennis players around the Midwest. Since 2000, Kennett has coached the United States Tennis Association Middle Illinois Junior Davis Cup team during the summer months. He also guided the USTA Area Training Team in St. Louis from 1997-99, and the USTA Missouri Valley Sectional zonal 12's and 16's team from 1995-98.
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