Stony Brook's Nini Lagvilava and Binghamton's Alex Haggai were named Players of the Year by the league's coaches on Thursday.
Stony Brook's Nini Lagvilava and Binghamton's Alex Haggai were named Players of the Year by the league's coaches on Thursday.
Courtesy: America East Communications

Conference Champions Sweep Yearly Tennis Awards

Release: 05/03/2012

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After leading their respective teams to conference championships, Binghamton senior Alexandre Haggai and Stony Brook junior Nini Lagvilava have been named the 2012 America East Tennis Players of the Year. Award winners and all-conference selections were determined by the league’s coaches, regardless of position.

Haggai keeps the Player of the Year hardware in Binghamton, becoming the second Bearcat to earn the award in the last four seasons. The senior won 19 singles matches and 19 doubles matches this season and became Binghamton’s all-time leader in doubles wins with 73 in his career. Haggai also found a spot on the all-conference first team for both singles and doubles and has been a first-team honoree in each of the last three seasons.

Lagvilava powered Stony Brook to its first ever conference championship with her performances at No. 1 singles and doubles. The junior also became the first Seawolf to earn an ITA national ranking when she checked in at No. 108 before the spring season. A first team all-conference singles and doubles player, Lagvilava leads Stony Brook out west to take on Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The men’s Rookie of the Year award went to Binghamton’s Ismael Dinia. Dinia solidified the middle of the Bearcat’s lineup winning 27 matches at No. 3 singles and teaming with Haggai to win 12 more at No. 2 doubles. Dinia also won the clinching match in the latest of Binghamton’s five straight conference titles and, like Haggai, earned a spot on the first-team all-conference singles and doubles.

Stony Brook’s Polina Movchan takes home the women’s Rookie of the Year award. Movchan, the Most Outstanding Player at the conference championship, posted a record of 18-2 in dual matches this year at No. 2 singles and clinched victories over Boston U. and UMBC in the league tourney last weekend. Movchan is also a first-team all-conference singles and doubles player.

The coaching staffs from the championship teams earned Coaching Staff of the Year awards. Gary Glassman led the Stony Brook women to their first conference title this season and knocked off 18-time defending champion Boston University in the semifinals to get it. Adam Cohen led the Bearcat men to their eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last ten years and will bring an eight-match win streak to their first round matchup against Ole Miss.

Joining Haggai and Dinia on the men’s all-conference singles first team is fellow Bearcat Ruben Devos, who played a strong No. 2 singles this season. Also selected to the first team were UMBC’s top two players, Cris Hodel and Joe Adewumi. Stony Brook’s Nikita Fomin, the 2011 Rookie of the Year, rounds out the first team after an impressive season at No. 1 for the Seawolves.

The men’s singles second team features two more Binghamton players as Robin Lesage and Ruben Haggai both turned in solid years in Vestal. Boston University’s Josh Friedman made his way onto the list with Hartford’s Aneil Bhalla, the Hawk’s lone selection. UMBC’s Gaulthier Berret and Stony Brook’s Stefan Ilic complete the second team.

Men’s first-team doubles features two of the three Binghamton doubles tandems as the teams of Bastian Bornkessel and Devos and Haggai and Dinia highlight the selections. Joining those pairs is the Stony Brook team of Fomin and Francis Bertrain.

Binghamton’ second-team singles players Ruben Haggai and Lesage form a pair on the doubles second-team. The UMBC team of Adewumi and Kamal Patel and Boston University’s Friedman and Michael Kopelman round out the squad.

In addition to Lagvilava and Movchan, the women’s first team includes the No. 1 singles players from four of the remaining five schools. A handful of first-time selections dot the remaining four members of the first team. Boston University’s Vivien Laszloffy and Binghamton’s Jillian Santos both were named to the second team a year ago while Albany’s Rocio Lopez and UMBC’s Shalini Sahoo make their first appearance.

The second-team is headlined by two-time America East Player of Year Stefanie Nunic from Boston Univeristy. Leonie-Charlotte Athanaisiadis joins her fellow Terrier on the second team. Also collecting second-team honors is the 2011 America East Rookie of the Year, UMBC’s Kim Berghaus. UMBC’s Carmen Jackson also picked up second-team status. They are joined by Binghamton’s Marina Bykovskaya and Hartford’s Abby Liu.

Stony Brook’s Movchan and Lagvilava paired to highlight the selections at first-team doubles. Second-team singles players UMBC’s Berghaus and Jackman also teamed up to collect first-team honors while Boston U.’s Athanaisiadis and Jessi Linero finish off the first team.

Albany’s Lopez and Livia Gherman, Bingamton’s Santos and Emma Leibowicz and Stony Brook’s Katherine Hanson and Prerana Appineni complete the 2012 all-conference teams.


2012 Men’s First-Team All-Conference
Alex Haggai, Binghamton
Ismael Dinia, Binghamton
Ruben Devos, Binghamton
Joseph Adewumi, UMBC
Cris Hodel, UMBC
Nikita Fomin, Stony Brook

Bastian Bornkessel/Ruben Devos, Binghamton
Alex Haggai/Ismael Dinia, Binghamton
Nikita Fomin/Francis Bertrand, Stony Brook

2012 Men’s Second-Team All-Conference
Robin Lesage, Binghamton
Ruben Haggai, Binghamton
Josh Friedman, Boston U.
Aneil Bhalla, Hartford
Gaulthier Berret, UMBC
Stefan Ilic, Stony Brook

Ruben Haggai/Robin Lesage, Binghamton
Josh Friedman/Michael Kopelman, Boston U.
Joseph Adewumi/Kamal Patel, UMBC

2012 Women’s First-Team All-Conference
Rocio Lopez, Albany
Jill Santos, Binghamton
Vivien Laszloffy, Boston U.
Shalini Sahoo, UMBC
Nini Lagvilava, Stony Brook
Polina Movchan, Stony Brook

Leonie-Charlotte Athanaisiadis/Jessi Linero, Boston U.
Kim Berghaus/Carmen Jackman, UMBC
Polina Movchan/Nini Lagvilava, Stony Brook

2012 Women’s Second-Team All-Conference
Marina Bykovskaya, Binghamton
Leonie Athanaisiadis, Boston U.
Stefanie Nunic, Boston U.
Abby Liu, Hartford
Kim Berghaus, UMBC
Carmen Jackman, UMBC

Rcio Lopez/Livia Gherman, Albany
Jillian Santos/Emma Leibowicz, Binghamton
Katherine Hanson/Prerana Appineni, Stony Brook

Player of the Year
Alex Haggai, Binghamton – Men
Nini Lagvilava, Stony Brook – Women

Rookie of the Year
Ismael Dinia, Binghamton – Men
Polina Movchan, Stony Brook – Women

Coaching Staff of the Year
Binghamton – Men
Stony Brook - Women