LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - In exclusive voting by the head coaches in the league, Alexis Dimanche of Southwestern University has been selected the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Men's Tennis Player-of-the-Year and first-year Wilson Hamilton of Trinity University earned Newcomer-of-the-Year honors. Complete Release
In that same balloting, Billy Porter of Southwestern and Russell McMindes of Trinity split the vote for Men's Coach-of-the-Year and will share this year's honor.
Dimanche, a sophomore from Mouans-Sartoux, France who earned Newcomer-of-the-Year honors a year ago, advanced to the quarterfinals of the fall ITA in singles. Currently the highest ranked singles player in the league in the West Region for singles (#8), Dimanche has recorded wins this season over several regionally-ranked players, including #7, #9, #17 and #24. He finished the regular season with a 14-5 singles mark and teamed with Grant Gideon to go 11-9 at No. 1 singles and achieve a No. 15 ranking in the West Region. Dimanche earned SCAC Player-of-the-Week honors the final week of the regular season when he helped lead the Pirates to an upset of then No. 14 Trinity. He defeated the Tigers' Wilson Hamilton, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, at the No. 1 line. Dimanche is the first Southwestern player to earn SCAC Men's Tennis POTY honors, and his selection snaps a 10-year run of Trinity student-athletes winning the award.
Dimanche picked up five votes in the Player-of-the-Year balloting. Trinity's Hamilton and his teammate Jace Akai-Okuma each received one vote.
Hamilton, a freshman from Austin, Texas, was ranked as high as No. 7 (currently No. 9) in the West region in singles, and he and his partner (fellow freshman Jace Akagi-Okuma) are currently ranked #13 in the region in doubles. Hamilton was a two-time SCAC Player-of-the-Week and earned All-Tournament honors for both singles and doubles as he helped lead 15th-ranked Trinity to its ninth consecutive SCAC title with a 5-0 victory over Southwestern this past Sunday in Colorado Springs. Playing at the No. 1 line, Hamilton finished with an 8-9 singles mark while competing against 11 nationally ranked teams. He is the fourth Trinity men's player to earn SCAC Newcomer-of-the-Year honors.
Hamilton was the top choice on five ballots for Newcomer-of-the-Year with Austin College's Andres Padilla picking up the remaining two first-place votes.
In his ninth season at the helm, McMindes led the Trinity men's team to the program's 23rd SCAC tournament championship, posting a 5-0 win over Southwestern in the title match. The Tigers are 15-10 in NCAA competition this year, including a 14-8 mark against Division III opponents, and are 15th in the nation in the latest ITA rankings. The Trinity men's tennis program currently holds the most SCAC Championships of any program in conference history. McMindes has earned at least a share of the Coach-of-the-Year honor in eight of his nine seasons leading the Tigers.
Porter, in his fifth season as the head coach at Southwestern, led the Pirates to another historic season. Southwestern finished with a 13-8 overall mark which included a 5-4 victory over Trinity on April 14, the program's first-ever victory against its conference rival. Porter earned ITA Men's West Region Coach-of-the-Year a year ago as his squad finished the season ranked 36th in the nation, and the Pirates enter the most recent ITA national rankings (April 26) at No. 39. This is his second SCAC Men's Tennis Coach-of-the-Year honor as he won the award outright following the 2015 season.
To view the entire All-SCAC Men's Tennis team, click here.
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