FLORENCE, SC – The Peach Belt Conference has released the 2017 men's tennis All-Conference team ahead of the start of the PBC Tournament in Florence, S.C. North Georgia's Niklas Zielen was named the PBC Player of the Year while USC Aiken's Antonio Sabugueiro was named the Freshman of the Year. Columbus State's Evan Isaacs was tabbed the PBC Coach of the Year.
Zeilen was 13-3 playing at #1 singles for the Nighthawks in 2017. A sophomore from Frankfurt, Germany, he was 14-4 overall in singles play and 5-1 against nationally-ranked opponents. Ranked #31 in the nation in singles, he partnered with Alexander Reinauer in the #10 doubles team in the nation to go 17-3 overall, 7-3 in conference play. His efforts helped the Nighthawks to a 17-win season, the most wins in the DII era, and the #4 seed in the PBC Tournament, their highest ever. Zeilen becomes the first North Georgia tennis player to win one of the PBC's major awards.
Antonio Sabugueiro was 12-5 in singles play in his first year at USC Aiken. From Lisbon, Portugal, the freshman was 8-4 overall at #2 singles and 7-2 in conference play at that spot. He also played five matches at #1 singles with a 4-1 record. In doubles he partnered with Tales Silva to go 12-3 at #2 doubles and 7-2 against conference opponents. Ranked 18th in the southeast region, Sabugueiro and the Pacers are ranked #33 in the nation. He becomes the first Pacer tennis player to win one of the PBC's major awards.
Evan Isaacs guided the Columbus State men's tennis team to a share of the PBC regular-season championship and the #1 seed for the PBC Tournament. In his 16th season at CSU, Isaacs Cougars enter the postseason with an 18-3 overall record, 9-1 against PBC competition and ranked #9 in the nation. CSU has nine wins over nationally-ranked teams this season including #4 Armstron State, #5 Lander and #8 Lynn. Isaacs wins the men's Coach of the Year award for the second time in his career, the first in 2014. He was also named the PBC women's tennis Coach of the Year in 2017.
The men's All-Conference team is listed below as selected by the league's head coaches. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.
Peach Belt Conference Men's Tennis
2017 All-Conference Team
Richard Ashforth, Francis Marion
Luca Cerin, Armstrong State
Patrick Oliveira, Augusta
Kiranpal Pannu, Columbus State
Alex Reinauer, North Georgia
Niklas Zielen, North Georgia
Niklas Zielen & Alex Reinauer, North Georgia
Ignacio Hernandez & Luca Cerin, Armstrong State
Marc Hofer & Omar El-Moslemany, Lander
Alberto Caceres Casas, Armstrong State
Christian Graff, Georgia College
Eirik Groner, Lander
Ignacio Hernandez, Armstrong State
David Korsten, Lander
Lukas Storck, Flagler
Kiranpal Pannu & Maciej Kierkus, Columbus State
Jan Porteset & Alberto Caceres Casas, Armstrong State
Lukas Storck & Felipe Carvalho, Flagler
Player of the Year
Niklas Zielen, North Georgia
Freshman of the Year
Antonio Sabugueiro, USC Aiken
Coach of the Year
Evan Isaacs, Columbus State
|1st Team All-Conference Singles|
|1st Team All-Conference Doubles|
|2nd Team All-Conference Singles|
|2nd Team All-Conference Doubles|
|Player of the Year Niklas Zielen||Freshman of the Year Antonio Sabugueiro||Coach of the Year Evan Isaacs|