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Four Receive NAIA Recognition

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Photo by Chris Baker
Janosch Apelt and Jochem Hoefnagels both received first team NAIA all-American recognition after leading the Cougars to the semifinals

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Published
May 22, 2012
By
Chris Baker

AZUSA, Calif.-- After taking Azusa Pacific to the NAIA semifinals and putting together a 21-3 record four Cougars earned all-American honors, with a pair receiving first-team distinctions from the NAIA. Janosch Apelt and Jochem Hoefnagels were listed among 16 players nationally on the NAIA’s first-team, while sophomores Ben Eger and Frederik Wilkens received honorable mention.

Janosch Apelt: Apelt, now a four-time NAIA all-American, went 14-7 in his final campaign, one that saw him register six wins over first team all-Americans. The Frankfurt, Germany native ended his career with 60 wins and helped Azusa Pacific to a 71-28 record with him in the lineup. Apelt ended the year ranked No. 5 in the NAIA by the ITA, and was also a part of one of the country’s best doubles teams, going 19-3 with Hoefnagels, good for a No. 5 national ranking.

Jochem Hoefnagels: Hoefnagels, who strung together 24 straight wins before suffering his first loss against Auburn Montgomery in the NAIA quarterfinals, opened the year 21-0 and earned National Player of the Week honors on April 4. The junior, ranked 18th in the NAIA, finished the year 21-1 at No. 2 singles with eight wins against top-40 players to receive all-GSAC recognition. In his final match of the year the Asten, Netherlands native overcame a tough first set and was on his way to a comeback before Fresno Pacific clinched the win. He was also named the ITA/NAIA National Player to Watch for the 2013 season.

Ben Eger: You’d be hard-pressed to make a case for the best nationals performance for anybody other than Eger. The sophomore clinched Azusa Pacific’s second round win over Auburn Montgomery, giving head coach Mark Bohren his 600th career win with a 7-5, 6-4 victory at No. 4 singles. Eger also was part of both Cougar wins in the semifinals against Fresno Pacific, recording a two-set (6-3, 7-5) defeat of 48th ranked Nathan Martinet, while teaming with Ilja Ikonnikov for a 9-7 result over the Sunbirds’ No. 3 doubles team. Eger went 5-0 between doubles and singles in the NAIA tournament and ended the year with an 18-5 singles record.

Frederik Wilkens: Wilkens posted a strong sophomore campaign at No. 3 singles for the Cougars. The Hannover, Germany native went 15-9 this season, and opened the postseason with a lightning quick 6-0, 6-2 victory over Aquinas’ (Mich.) Travis Wolf. Wilkens went 3-3 at nationals and ended the year as the 34th ranked player in the country in just his second collegiate season.

SCHOLAR ATHLETES

Three Azusa Pacific tennis players earned Daktronics Scholar-Athlete recognition for their performance in the classroom. Hoefnagels, Apelt, and Ikonnikov all made the cut after balancing their time on the court and in the books. In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.

For the complete Scholar Athlete Team Click Here