SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Redshirt sophomore Matt Kuhar (Smithfield, R.I.) and junior Nina Luiggi (Nottingham, England) of the Bryant University men's and women's tennis team were named Northeast Conference Spring Scholar-Athletes, as announced by the league on Thursday.
All NEC Scholar-Athlete award winners compiled a minimum of 60 semester hours at their institution, maintained a minimum cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 and participated with distinction as a member of a varsity team.
Kuhar has already staked his claim as one of the top men's tennis players in league history, and now adds to his resume by winning co-scholar-athlete honors in his sport. After sitting out last season with an injury, Kuhar came back at another level en-route to his unanimous selection as NEC Player of the Year. He posted a 19-6 overall record and 6-0 mark against NEC rivals to help spark Bryant to a fourth consecutive NEC title. A two-time NEC Player of the Month and two-time NEC Player of the Week, Kuhar went 12-3 at the No. 1 flight, including wins over opponents from Harvard, Cornell and Princeton. He won all three of his NEC Tournament matches in straight sets, and in the first round of the NCAA Tournament he posted a 6-0 win in the first set over Oklahoma's Andrew Harris, the No. 32 player in the country. By year's end Kuhar became the first player in Bryant history to earn an ITA regional ranking. He was also named to the All-NEC first team at No. 1 doubles with teammate Luke Lorenz (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Kuhar, a local product out of Smithfield, is a Finance major with a 3.64 grade point average. He has been named to the NEC Academic Honor Roll three times.
Luiggi claimed the women's tennis scholar-athlete of the year accolade. The junior made it back-to-back All-NEC second team honors at No. 4 singles, and helped lead the Bulldogs to the conference semifinals. She ranked second on Bryant with 10 wins on the year, and posted a 4-2 mark against league opponents. Luiggi delivered at the NEC Tournament, winning two singles matches in straight sets and a pair of doubles matches teaming up with Ashanti Campfield (Stratford, Conn.). The duo was also named to the All-NEC first team at No. 2 doubles, a year after collecting second team honors. A three-time member of the NEC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Luiggi carries a 3.97 grade point average. The Nottingham, London native majors in Applied Psychology.