KONIKOV NAMED BIG SKY MENâ€™S TENNIS COACH OF THE YEAR FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State head men’s tennis coach Slava Konikov was named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight season after guiding the team to Big Sky Conference regular season and tournament championships, as well as an NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Hornets went 17-11 overall and 7-1 in the Big Sky this year, and followed up a successful regular season by sweeping both Montana and Northern Arizona by 4-0 scores in the Big Sky Tournament. The team earned the Big Sky’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament (first and second rounds May 14-16), and will learn who and where it will play when selections are made later this afternoon.
A school-record tying five Hornets received all-conference honors this season, including three first team selections (Kiryl Harbatsiuk, Anton Stryhas and Jason Smith) and the league’s MVP (Harbatsiuk). Sacramento State had a nine-match winning streak during the season (March 19-April 9), and finished the year with a 10-1 record at home. In addition, including regular season and postseason matches, the Hornets combined to outscore Big Sky opposition by a 55-9 margin.
In five years as the Hornets’ head coach, Konikov has now led the Hornets to an 83-43 overall record, a 35-2 mark in the Big Sky, five Big Sky regular season championships, three conference tournament crowns and three NCAA Tournament appearances. In addition, Sacramento State has combined for 19 all-conference selections during Konikov’s tenure, including 13 first team selections and four MVPs.
Harbatsiuk (91st) and Smith (109th) are both currently ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), marking the first time in school history two Hornets have been ranked in singles play at the same time. Harbatsiuk was ranked as high as 40th (the highest ranking every received by a Hornet) at one point during the season, and will enter the NCAA Tournament with a 25-match singles winning streak.