Middle Tennessee capped its 12-14 season with four Blue Raiders earning All-Conference USA honors, the league office announced Wednesday.
Only five teams placed student-athletes on All-Conference teams, and MT tied with conference champion Rice with four different players being recognized.
After an 11-10 season in his first spring with the Blue Raiders, Tom Moonen was named to the second team singles list. The Rotterdam, Netherlands, native won two matches at the top spot and was 9-3 on court two, finishing the season with five wins in his last eight matches that ended in a decision. Moonen was in a second set tiebreak against Rice’s Tommy Bennett and up a set in the semifinals of the C-USA Championship after winning 6-3, 6-0 over Charlotte in the quarterfinals.
“Tom has to be our most improved player on our team from the start of the year to the end, and to get this award is a great recognition for his hard work,” MT head coach Jimmy Borendame said.
Also listed on the second team singles team is Gonzalo Morell Raschiatore. The sophomore from Perth, Australia, posted a 10-13 record on the season, including a team-best six wins at the top spot in the lineup with a 4-4 record at the No. 2 spot. Morell wrapped up the season with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over No. 42 Rice’s Jamie Malik in the semifinals of the C-USA Championship. This is the second consecutive season Morell has been on a All-C-USA Singles list.
“Gonzalo’s been a workhorse for us all year,” Borendame added. “He had a stretch there in the middle of the year where he didn’t play his best tennis, but he finished up strong, and both of these guys are very deserving.”
As a pair, Morell and Moonen were named to the All-C-USA First Team Doubles list. The duo stayed together for the entire season, posting a 13-8 record, with every result coming at the top doubles spot in the lineup. Morell and Moonen had a 4-0 record in conference play and finished the season strong, taking seven wins in their last 10 matches. This is Morell’s second All-C-USA First Team Doubles honor in two years with the program.
“Gonzalo and Tom came together as a team at the last minute in January. They played together in juniors, and they complement each other well,” Borendame said of his top doubles pair. “They had a couple matches slip away that they probably could’ve won, but this is a great solid team coming back that I think we can build on.”
MT juniors Gian Issa and Miguel Negre Fernandez were 10-9 in doubles in the dual match season, winning three matches on court two and posting a 7-2 record at the No. 3 doubles spot. The pair was named to the All-C-USA Second Team Doubles list and finished the season on a three-match winning streak. The duo dominated the last couple weeks of the season, with wins in the C-USA Championship over Charlotte, 6-3, and No. 42 Rice, 6-2. This is Issa’s second career All-C-USA honor and Negre’s first.
“Gian and Miguel is a really scrappy doubles team,” Borendame said. “This is a team that’s been playing together for a while now. They play some unconventional doubles, but they can be a tough team for us and usually be a team we can count on.”
All four award winners will return for a run at next year’s C-USA Championship and more conference honors. Follow @MT_MensTennis on Twitter and like MTSU Men’s Tennis on Facebook for updates and information on the Blue Raiders throughout the offseason.
2016-17 CONFERENCE USA MEN’S TENNIS AWARDS
Player of the Year: Adam Moundir, Old Dominion
Freshman of the Year: Tim Dollman, UAB
Newcomer of the Year: Arthur Stefani, Florida Atlantic
Outstanding Singles Player of the Championship: Adam Moundir, Old Dominion
Outstanding Doubles Team of the Championship: Adam Moundir/Javier Jover Maestre, Old Dominion
Coach of the Year: Efe Ustundag, Rice
All-Conference USA Singles
Remi Chancerel, Florida Atlantic
Andrei Morin-Kougoucheff, Florida Atlantic
Adam Moundir, Old Dominion
Michael Weindl, Old Dominion
Tommy Bennett, Rice
Tim Dollman, UAB
Tom Moonen, Middle Tennessee
Gonzalo Morell Raschiatore, Middle Tennessee
Javier Jover Maestre, Old Dominion
Jake Hansen, Rice
David Warren, Rice
Eric Komati, UAB
All-Conference USA Doubles
Tom Moonen/Gonzalo Morell Raschiatore, Middle Tennessee
Adam Moundir/Javier Jover Maestre, Old Dominion
Tommy Bennett,/David Warren, Rice
Remi Chancerel/Andrei Morin-Kougoucheff, Florida Atlantic
Miguel Negre Fernandez/Gian Issa, Middle Tennessee
Jake Hansen/Eric Rutledge, Rice