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Top Cougar Pair Named First Team

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Published
May 25, 2011
By
Bobbi Salcido

AZUSA, Calif. -- Junior Janosch Apelt and sophomore Jochem Hoefnagels were repeat NAIA All-Americans, earning first team selection to lead Azusa Pacific’s postseason men’s tennis awards recipients. Freshman Ben Eger was listed as an NAIA All-American honorable mention, and three Cougars were named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes.

Apelt and Hoefnagels were both also named to the 2011 All-GSAC team, a third straight all-conference performance for Apelt, who is also a three-time NAIA All-American who makes his second appearance on the first team.

A trio of Cougar juniors landed on the list of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes, an honor which requires a student-athlete to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and have achieved junior academic status to qualify. Apelt, Ilja Ikonnikov, and Daniel Moore, were recognized nationally as well as in conference, earning GSAC Scholar Athlete status as well.

Ikonnikov, Moore, and Apelt were the only men’s tennis athletes in the conference to earn GSAC Scholar Athlete recognition, and Apelt was one of only three athletes nationally named to both the NAIA All-American first team as well as the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete list.

Apelt recorded a 15-7 season, competing solely at the Cougars’ No. 1 singles position. Apelt was ranked No. 10 in the most recent ITA national singles rankings, and he closed out the season with eight wins in his last 10 matches.

Hoefnagels, an NAIA All-American second team pick last year, finished with an overall record of 15-4, and he went 14-4 in the Cougars’ No. 2 singles position. In his only match outside the No. 2 spot, Hoefnagels posted a 6-3, 6-1 victory in his collegiate debut at the top singles spot against Hope International in late March.

In doubles, Apelt and Hoefnagels finished with a 17-5 record for the GSAC’s best doubles winning percentage (.850) this season. The most recent ITA national doubles rankings showed Apelt and Hoefnagels occupying the No. 2 spot. The pair won the independent college doubles championship at the prestigious Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament earlier this month, and they went 7-1 against doubles teams ranked 13th or higher in the latest ITA rankings.

Eger, a true freshman, led Azusa Pacific in total singles victories this season with an overall record of 16-5. In conference play, Eger had the second-best winning percentage (.812) in the GSAC at the No. 3 singles position. At the national tournament, Eger took the NAIA’s No. 9-ranked Bruno Tiberti to an opening-set tiebreaker in an unfinished NAIA quarterfinals match against Oklahoma Christian.