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May 2, 2013

Men's Tennis All-Ivy -- 2012-13

Photos courtesy of Columbia Sports Information/Media Relations and Princeton Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- In one of the most impressive seasons in recent history, Princeton senior Matija Pecotic punctuated his time on Old Nassau as the first three-time Ivy League Men's Tennis Player of the Year.

Pecotic becomes just the 11th Ivy League student-athlete to be named Player of the Year at least three times in any sport, following Julie Beaver, Princeton (Women's Squash Player of the Year in 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01); Diana Caramanico, Penn (Women's Basketball Player of the Year in 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01); Yasser El Halaby, Princeton (Men's Squash Player of the Year in 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05); Allison Feaster, Harvard (Women's Basketball Player of the Year in 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98); Kenton Jernigan, Harvard (Men's Squash Player of the Year in 1983-84, 1984-85 and 1985-86); Gail Koziara, Dartmouth (Women's Basketball Player of the Year in 1979-80, 1980-81 and 1981-82); Katie Reinprecht, Princeton (Field Hockey Player of the Year in 2008-09 and 2009-11 and Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Year in 2012-13); Mario Sanchez, Princeton (Men's Squash Player of the Year in 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09); Paige Schmidt, Princeton (Field Hockey Player of the Year in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08); and Peter Williamson, Dartmouth (Men's Golf Player of the Year in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2011-12).

The Sliema, Malta, native is the sixth player to win the League's Men's Tennis Player of Year honors at least twice following Tim Donovan, Brown (1988, 1989); Andrew Rueb, Harvard (1993, 1995); Michael Zimmerman, Harvard (1991, 1992); David Lingman, Harvard (2003, 2004) and Brandon Wai, Yale (2006, 2007). He is the the first Tiger to win the award twice and the fourth to be named Player of the Year following Reed Cordish in 1996, Judson Williams in 2002 and Peter Capkovic in 2008.

Garnering first-team All-Ivy recognition for a third-consecutive season, Pecotic (2011, 2012, 2013) and Yale senior John Huang (2010, 2012, 2013) become the 14th and 15th players to be named first-team All-Ivy three times, joining Howard Sands, Harvard (1981, 1982, 83); Ted Farnsworth, Princeton (1982, 1983, 1984); Dave Merritt, Cornell (1983, 1984, 1985); Larry Scott, Harvard (1984, 1985, 1986); Craig Kennedy, Yale (1988, 1989, 1990); Jeff Chiang, Columbia (1988, 1989, 1990); Zimmerman, Harvard (1989, 1991, 1992); Cordish, Princeton (1994, 1995, 1996); Fanda Stejskal, Penn (2000, 2001, 2002); Oscar Chow, Columbia (2001, 2002, 2003); Wai, Yale (2005, 2006, 2007); Ashwin Kumar, Harvard (2005, 2006, 2008); and Capkovic, Princeton (2007, 2008, 2009).

Pecotic, ranked 15th in singles in the May 2 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rankings, posted a 47-5 overall record with 13 wins in fall tournaments against ranked ITA foes. He won tournament titles at the Princeton/Farnsworth Invitational, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Men's College Invitational, the USTA/ITA Northeast Regional and the Texas Fall Invitational. Pecotic also became the first Princeton player since 1982 and first Ivy Leaguer since 1998 to advance to the semifinals at the ITA Men's All-American Championships, including a win over then-No. 9 Raymond Sarmiento of Southern California in the quarterfinals. He closed the fall with the consolation singles title at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

In the spring, Pecotic went 16-3 in singles duals and was ranked in the ITA top 10 from January through late April, checking in as high as No. 2 in the nation in the first poll of the dual match season. He takes a nine-match winning streak, including 7-0 mark against Ivy opponents, into the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships as a 9-16 seed in the 64-player singles bracket to be held May 22-27 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill., following the conclusion of the team championship, which runs from May 16-21.

Pecotic was also named first-team All-Ivy in doubles, as was Tiger sophomore Zack McCourt (Sunrise, Fla.) were named first-team All-Ivy in doubles. It marked the first All-Ivy doubles honor for Pecotic and the first All-Ivy honor in either singles or doubles for McCourt. The duo went 13-2 together in the fall and 14-3 in the spring, including 6-1 in League matches, all at No. 1. Pecotic and McCourt combined to win tournament flight titles at the Princeton/Farnsworth Invitational and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Men's College Invitational.

Columbia and the League's Rookie of the Year award have become somewhat synonymous in recent years as freshman Dragos Ignat is the second-straight Lion to earned the honor and the fourth in the last seven seasons, following Jonathan Wong in 2007, Haig Schneiderman in 2009 and Winston Lin in 2012. Ignat posted a polished 14-6 dual record, including a 6-1 mark against the Ancient Eight. The Bacau, Romania, native played primarily at No. 2 in singles, compiling a 10-4 record.

Ignat and Lin (Williamsville, N.Y.) each finished the season with a team-best 24 victories. A unanimous first-team pick for the second-straight year, Lin found himself playing No. 1 singles for Columbia in all but one match during his sophomore campaign. He registered a 4-3 conference mark and a 12-7 showing in the spring.

Voted unanimously to the first team in singles for the second-straight year, Huang (Irvine, Calif.) remained a constant in the Yale lineup with a 6-1 mark at No. 1 in Ivy play. He was his best in dual match play, putting together two different six-match winning streaks, including six in a row against conference competition to amass 16 spring wins and 26 overall wins in final season.

Harvard sophomore Denis Nguyen (Anaheim, Calif.) received this year's distinction honor as the lone player named first-team All-Ivy in singles and doubles, receiving both honors in unanimous fashion to boot. Nguyen held down the top singles spot for the Crimson, going 4-3 in Ivy matches and 8-8 in the spring. His doubles partner, junior Casey MacMaster (Fort Collins, Colo.), was also a unanimous first-team selection at doubles. Nguyen and MacMaster combined for a near-perfect 6-1 mark in League play and totaled 13 wins to just three losses during the dual season.

Fellow Harvard sophomore Shaun Chaudhuri (Pleasanton, Calif.) appeared on the first team in singles for the first time thanks to a 6-1 singles record in League matches at the No. 2 spot. He finished the regular-season dual slate with a 12-8 record, seeing action at top two positions.

Cornell sophomore Sam Fleck (Cambridge, United Kingdom) and Columbia sophomore Ashok Narayana (Houston) flip-flopped spots on All-Ivy first and second teams with Fleck on the first team in singles and the second team in doubles, while Narayana got his second-straight recognition on the first team in doubles and first-ever nod in singles on the second team.

A stalwart all season for the Big Red, Fleck compiled a 14-5 record in singles and a 15-2 mark in doubles — the latter being a team high. He most commonly appeared at the No. 2 position in singles, where he was 12-4 in the spring going 5-2 in League play to end his season on a four-match winning streak. In doubles, Fleck was a perfect 5-0 against Ivy foes when partnered with classmate Kyle Berman.

Narayana teamed with classmate Max Schnur (Richmond, Va.) to form one of the toughest doubles teams in the conference. The pair notched an impressive 24-12 record, including a 14-6 spring record and a 4-3 mark in Ivy dual action as the Lions' top combo. Both were named to the first team in doubles for the second-straight year.

In singles, Narayana saw action in the top three spots, racking up 19 wins. Seeing the most time at No. 3 singles, he posted an 8-6 record and a 6-1 League record.

The All-Ivy second team was highlighted by Yale senior Marc Powers, the 2010 Player and Rookie of the Year, with his fourth All-Ivy honor. Previously, Powers (Stamford, Conn.) was named to first team in singles in 2010 and 2011 and doubles in 2012. He closed his time as a Bulldog with the school's all-time record in doubles wins with 89. In addition, a pair of seniors -- Harvard's Andy Nguyen (Phoenix) and Yale's Daniel Hoffman (Atherton, Calif.) -- were tabbed with second-team selection in both singles and doubles.

In all, Harvard led the way with five players earning seven All-Ivy accolades, followed by Columbia with four players and Yale with three players, each accruing five All-Ivy honors each.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
*Matija Pecotic, Princeton (Sr. - Sliema, Malta)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Dragos Ignat, Columbia (Fr. - Bacau, Romania)

FIRST TEAM ALL-IVY
Singles
Dragos Ignat, Columbia (Fr. - Bacau, Romania)
*Winston Lin, Columbia (So. - Williamsville, N.Y.)
Sam Fleck, Cornell (So. - Cambridge, United Kingdom)
Shaun Chaudhuri, Harvard (So. - Pleasanton, Calif.)
*Denis Nguyen, Harvard (So. - Anaheim, Calif.)
*Matija Pecotic, Princeton (Sr. - Sliema, Malta)
*John Huang, Yale (Sr. - Irvine, Calif.)

Doubles
Ashok Narayana, Columbia (So. - Houston)
Max Schnur, Columbia (So. - Richmond, Va.)
*Denis Nguyen, Harvard (So. - Anaheim, Calif.)
*Casey MacMaster, Harvard (Jr. -  Fort Collins, Colo.)
*Matija Pecotic, Princeton (Sr. - Sliema, Malta)
Zack McCourt, Princeton (So. - Sunrise, Fla.)

SECOND TEAM ALL-IVY
Singles
Michael Riechmann, Brown (So. - Houston)
Ashok Narayana, Columbia (So. - Houston)
Andy Nguyen, Harvard (Sr. - Phoenix)
Alex Steinroeder, Harvard (So. - Concord, Mass.)
Daniel Hoffman, Yale (Sr. - Atherton, Calif.)
Marc Powers, Yale (Sr. - Stamford, Conn.)

Doubles
Sam Fleck, Cornell (So. - Cambridge, United Kingdom)
Xander Centenari, Dartmouth (Sr. - Towson, Md.)
Brandon DeBot, Dartmouth (Jr. - Stevens Point, Wis.)
Andy Nguyen, Harvard (Sr. - Phoenix)
Daniel Hoffman, Yale (Sr. - Atherton, Calif.)
Marc Powers, Yale (Sr. - Stamford, Conn.)

* Unanimous Selection
^ Due to ties in voting, there are seven singles players on the first team