Three freshmen highlight All-NEC First Team honors for men's tennis
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – After a season that saw a program-high nine-match winning streak since joining Division I while earning marquee victories over Quinnipiac and Connecticut, the Bryant University men's tennis team was honored by the Northeast Conference on Wednesday, as a trio of freshmen earned All-NEC First Team honors, the league announced today.
Highlighting the list of honorees was freshman Richard Sipala (Quogue, N.Y.), who earned a spot on the All-NEC First Team at the No. 6 singles flight, while classmates Ernesto Arguello (Managua, Nicaragua) and Juan Gonzalez-Paz (San Juan, Puerto Rico) earned nods on the all-conference doubles first team at the No. 1 slot. Both players were named to the all-conference singles second team at the No. 4 and No. 5 flights, respectively. Rounding out the group was sophomore Dana Parziale (Pinehurst, N.C.), who ranked first on the team in singles victories and was tabbed to the All-NEC Second Team in the No. 2 singles spot.
Sipala joined FDU's Arvis Berzins as the two freshman performers to earn first team accolades. The Quogue, N.Y., native capably manned the No. 6 spot for the Bulldogs, finishing with an 18-7 overall mark, 9-4 record in his flight and 4-0 ledger versus NEC foes. Sipala's season took off in February when he ran off 10 straight dual match victories and was named the NEC Player of the Month.
In doubles play, Arguello and Gonzalez-Paz went unbeaten within the NEC (4-0), including a nail-biting 8-7 win over FDU's outstanding team of Berzins and Ibrahim Shams in early April. On the year, Arguello and Gonzalez-Paz posted a 15-13 mark and were 7-5 in #1 flight dual match play.
The Bulldogs were well represented on the all-conference singles second team, taking three of the six spots up for grabs. Leading the way was Parziale, who received second team honors for the second straight season after being named to the No. 3 position as a freshman. The 2010-11 NEC Rookie of the Year, Parziale ranked second on the circuit with 20 victories and was tabbed the October NEC Player of the Month. He went 6-3 at No. 2 singles and was 3-1 against NEC competition.
Two of 11 underclassmen in the Bryant lineup, Arguello and Gonzalez-Paz both finished 3-1 in the conference. Arguello concluded his freshman year 14-13, while Gonzalez-Paz was 16-9.