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ODU'S Van Der Merwe Earns Top Honor On All-CAA Men's Tennis Team

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: April 23, 2004
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April 23, 2004

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Old Dominion University junior Izak van der Merwe (Kempton Park, South Africa) was selected as the 2004 Colonial Athletic Association men's tennis Player of the Year in a vote of the league's head coaches.

Others receiving top honors from the conference include Virginia Commonwealth's Arnaud Le Cloerec (Plouhinec, France) as CAA Rookie of the Year, and Virginia Commonwealth's Paul Kostin as CAA Coach of the Year.

Van der Merwe is the first ODU player to receive CAA Player of the Year honors since 1995. The junior is currently ranked 18th nationally in singles in the latest ITA rankings and has recorded 10 victories over nationally ranked opponents this season. Van der Merwe, who has posted a 27-10 mark at number one singles this season, was an ITA All-American in singles and captured the UVA Fall Invitational. He and partner Zoltan Csanadi are also ranked 7th nationally in doubles and were ITA National Indoor finalists.

Le Cloerec is the eighth VCU player in the last nine years to claim CAA Rookie of the Year honors. The sophomore is ranked 122nd nationally in singles after compiling a 14-7 dual match record at number one and number two singles. Le Cloerec posted victories over three nationally ranked opponents this season and won the Flight A Singles Championship at the ODU Old Point National Bank Invitational in October. He and partner Florian Marquardt have also knocked off three nationally ranked foes in doubles.

Kostin earns CAA men's Coach of the Year honors for the seventh time in the past nine seasons after guiding Virginia Commonwealth to a 21-3 record and a national ranking of 11th. The Rams defeated 12 nationally ranked opponents this season, including four who are currently ranked in the top 25. VCU won the Blue/Gray Collegiate Classic in March and was ranked as high as 5th this season, which was the highest in the program's history.

Joining van der Merwe and Le Cloerec on the All-CAA first team in singles were VCU senior Pedro Nieto (Sevilla, Spain), William & Mary junior Jeff Kader (Geneva, Ohio/New Braunfels (TX), UNC Wilmington junior Danilo Mendes (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) and Old Dominion senior Zoltan Csanadi (Timisoara, Romania). Making the first team in doubles were the ODU duo of van der Merwe and Csanadi, the W&M team of senior Geoff Russell (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe) and freshman Steven Kane (Nokomis, Fla./U. of Nebraska HS) and the VCU pair of Le Cloerec and senior Florian Marquardt (Saulheim, Germany)

The awards were presented Thursday night prior to the quarterfinals of the 2004 CAA Men's Tennis Championship, which resumes Friday morning at the Adair Courts on the campus of William & Mary. The tournament runs through Sunday, with the men's championship set for 10:00 a.m. on April 25.

2004 ALL-CAA MEN'S TENNIS TEAM

First Team
Singles

Izak van der Merwe, Old Dominion Jr. Kempton Park, South Africa
Pedro Nieto, Virginia Commonwealth Sr. Sevilla, Spain
Jeff Kader, William and Mary Jr. Geneva, Ohio/New Braunfels (TX)
Danilo Mendes, UNC Wilmington Jr. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Arnaud Le Cloerec, Virginia Commonwealth So. Plouhinec, France
Zoltan Csanadi, Old Dominion Sr. Timisoara, Romania

Doubles Zoltan Csanadi, Old Dominion Sr. Timisoara, Romania
Izak van der Merwe, Old Dominion Jr. Kempton Park, South Africa

Steven Kane, William & Mary Fr. Nokomis, Fla./U. of Nebraska ISHS
Geoff Russell, William & Mary Sr. Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe

Florian Marquardt, Virginia Commonwealth Sr. Saulheim, Germany
Arnaud Le Cloerec, Virginia Commonwealth So. Plouhinec, France

Second Team
Singles

Sean Kelleher, William & Mary Jr. Forty Fort, Pa./New Braunfels (TX)
Marton Ott, Virginia Commonwealth Jr. Budapest, Hungary
Nikola Djordjevic, Hofstra So. Belgrade, Serbia
Geoff Russell, William & Mary Sr. Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe
Calin Milos, Old Dominion Sr. Timisoara, Romania
Sergi Arumi, Virginia Commonwealth So. Barcelona, Spain

Doubles Sean Kelleher, William & Mary Jr. Forty Fort, Pa./New Braunfels (TX)
Stephen Ward, William & Mary So. Douglaston, N.Y./Chaminade

Pedro Nieto, Virginia Commonwealth Sr. Sevilla, Spain
Marton Ott, Virginia Commonwealth Jr. Budapest, Hungary

Scott Curry, UNC Wilmington Sr. Charlotte, N.C./Providence
Grant Holland, UNC Wilmington Fr. Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park

2004 CAA PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Izak van der Merwe, Old Dominion
2004 CAA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Arnaud Le Cloerec, Virginia Commonwealth
2004 CAA COACH OF THE YEAR: Paul Kostin, Virginia Commonwealth

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