KONIKOV NAMED BIG SKY COACH OF THE YEAR; STRYHAS AND HARBATSIUK INVITED TO NCAA DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State head men’s tennis coach Slava Konikov was named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year, and the Hornet doubles team of Kiryl Harbatsiuk and Anton Stryhas were selected to compete later this month at the NCAA Div. I Men’s Doubles Championship.
For Konikov, who is currently in his fourth year as head coach of the men’s squad, it marks his first Big Sky Coach of the Year award. Despite a roster that includes four underclassmen and no seniors, Konikov led the Hornets to their seventh Big Sky Tournament championship after the team went 19-6 this season. In addition, Sacramento State went undefeated in conference play (8-0) and then claimed the 2009 tournament title by sweeping Montana and Eastern Washington in the semifinals and championship match, respectively.
Four players were named to the all-conference team under Konikov this season. Harbatsiuk, Stryhas and Jason Smith all received first team accolades, while Marko Starcevic was named honorable mention. Harbatsiuk, a junior, was named this year’s MVP.
In his four years with the Hornets, Konikov has led the team to a 66-31 overall record, a 28-1 mark in the conference, four Big Sky regular season championships, two conference tournament crowns and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. The Hornets will make their second NCAA Tournament appearance under Konikov later this week when the team travels to Palo Alto to face ninth-ranked Stanford in the first round on Friday, May 8, at 2 p.m.
Stryhas and Harbatsiuk become the first Sacramento State doubles team (men or women) to reach the NCAA Doubles Championship. The duo is one of just 32 doubles teams from around the nation to receive an invitation to the tournament. The doubles championships will take place May 20-25 in College Station, Texas.
Harbatsiuk and Stryhas finished the regular season with a 15-6 doubles record, all as the Hornets’ No. 1 doubles team. They have won five straight matches and 11 of their last 13 heading into this week’s NCAA Tournament match at Stanford. Two of the tandem’s six losses came against doubles teams ranked among the top 11 in the nation.
Earlier this season, Harbatsiuk and Stryhas defeated Oklahoma State’s Oleksandr Nedovyesov and Nathan Byrnes (8-6) who are currently ranked ninth in the nation. Harbatsiuk and Stryhas are the Nos. 1 and 3 singles players in the Hornets’ lineup, respectively.