AZUSA, Calif.-- The awards keep coming for the 2013 NCCAA champions. In a debut Pacific West Conference season in which the Cougars’ men’s tennis team was ranked in the top-15 of NCAA Division II all year, Azusa Pacific had four players recognized on the All-PacWest team. Jochem Hoefnagels highlighted the honors, taking home co-PacWest Player of the Year recognition, while Jan Meyer was the co-Freshman of the Year. Juniors Ben Eger and Frederik Wilkens were also named to the all-conference team.
“Each of those players worked so hard, so I’m happy to see them be recognized for what they’ve done for our program. It gives me confidence going into Division II, with the caliber of players that we have. Being in a tough league, being competitive, and being ranked really shows that we can compete with the best as we make the transition, and these guys led the charge,” said head coach Mark Bohren.
Hoefnagels, a three-time NAIA All-American, saved his best season for last. The Asten, Netherlands native played at No. 1 all year, and finished with a 24-3 record as the Cougars won their first 21 matches of 2013. He went unbeaten in the NCCAA playoffs, registering a key win in the championship match over Fresno Pacific as the Cougars claimed the program’s second national championship. Hoefnagels assembled a 76-14 record in his career.
“It’s really exciting. He’s such a great leader and a good guy. For it to end with a national championship and getting that honor is so fitting. Everyone saw what a true competitor Jochem was, so it’s a testament to his abilities on and off the court because he was so well respected by the other coaches and everyone in the league,” said Bohren.
Meyer’s first season was equally impressive as the freshman lost just one match all year (23-1), and clinched Azusa Pacific’s NCCAA championship despite playing on an injured foot. Meyer won the first 20 matches of the season, and didn’t suffer a loss until the semifinals of the PacWest tournament, where he injured his ankle.
“Jan was pretty impressive. It could have been one of the best performances from a freshman that we’ve had. He had a major injury before nationals, and then he wound up clinching it for us. For a freshman that’s pretty special,” said Bohren.
Meyer played at No. 2 for the Cougars, and compiled a 19-7 record on a team that went undefeated in the regular season. He helped Azusa Pacific post 13 wins over ranked teams. The junior also had a hand in two singles victories against opponents rated inside the ITA/NCAA Division II rankings.
Eger tied for the team-lead in singles wins with 24 (24-2), and was dominant as usual in the postseason. The junior registered a two-set win in the championship match at No. 3, and went 3-0 in the NCCAA tournament. He also had an 18-match winning streak midway through the season.
The doubles team of Meyer and Hoefnagels also earned first-team recognition with a 22-5 regular season record.
To see the complet PacWest release Click Here.