The Oglethorpe men's tennis team finished in second place in the SAA this season, a higher finish than any other Oglethorpe tennis team in the modern era. This week, the team and coach got their rewards for that lofty finish, as three players were named to All-SAA teams and head coach Peter Howell won the SAA Coach of the Year award.
The SAA Coach of the Year award marks Howell's first conference coach of the year award. He led the Petrels to an impressive 19-5 record this season, and has seen his squad ranked as high as 12th in the Atlantic South region. His squad came within a hair's-breadth of competing for the program's first-ever conference championship last weekend, as they lost 5-4 on a tiebreak in the semifinals of the SAA Championships in Nashville and Murfreesboro, Tenn. For his career, Howell has accumulated a 132-81 record.
Freshman C.J. Antonio took All-SAA First Team honors, compiling a 14-6 singles record this season out of the No. 2 slot, while racking up a very impressive 19-3 doubles record with senior teammate Bryan Bailey out of the No. 2 doubles slot.
Bailey took home All-SAA Second Team honors, and was the highest vote-getter of any player on the Second Team. This marks his third all-conference honor, but his first time as a full member of an all-conference team, as he was named All-SCAC honorable mention twice. He put together an impressive 17-4 singles record this season, mostly out of the No. 3 slot, and had a staggering 20-3 doubles record, mostly with Antonio out of the No. 2 slot.
Sophomore Ben Hirsch was named All-SAA honorable mention, and was the highest vote-getter to not be named to a full All-SAA team. For the season, he put together an 18-5 singles record, and was a perfect 9-0 out of the No. 5 slot. He also compiled an 11-7 doubles record with teammates Ethan Motz and Kirk Zhao.
The team went on to take third place at the SAA Championships, and looks to improve on its lofty finish and make a run for the championship next season with most of the team returning.