Comets, Cowboys Selected to Top ASC Men’s Tennis in 2021
RICHARDSON, Texas – UT Dallas and Hardin-Simmons picked to win the 2020 American Southwest Conference men’s tennis East and West Division titles, respectively, after a vote of the league’s head coaches announced by the conference office Tuesday (January 26).
UTD received 71 points and 11 out of 12 first-place votes to secure the East Division’s top spot. HSU collected 65 points and six first-place votes to lead the West Division.
LeTourneau was picked second in the East with 57 points and one first-place vote. East Texas Baptist (48), Ozarks (37), Belhaven (29), and Louisiana College (14) followed them.
In the West Division, Concordia Texas received 60 votes and four first-place votes, followed by McMurry (43), Mary Hardin-Baylor (42/1), Howard Payne (28/1), and Sul Ross State (14).
UT Dallas went 16-2 in 2019 and won the ASC championship, falling in the Second Round of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship. The Comets were 4-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play when the season came to an abrupt end in 2020. Hardin-Simmons 9-9 overall and 4-2 in the West in 2019. The Cowboys were 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the West in 2020.
In addition to the preseason poll, they named 22 players to the head coaches’ ASC Men’s Tennis Preseason Watch List. Among the players returning for the new season are one all-conference selection and three all-division picks from 2019.
The men’s tennis spring season will begin Thursday, January 28. The 2021 ASC Men’s Tennis Championship is scheduled for April 29-May 1 and hosted by the East Division #1 seed.
2021 ASC Men’s Tennis Preseason Poll
|Rank||Team (1st place votes)||Pts.||2020 Record (ASC)|
|1.||UT Dallas (11)||71||4-3 (2-0)|
|2.||LeTourneau (1)||53||9-3 (0-0)|
|3.||East Texas Baptist||48||3-6 (0-1)|
|6.||Louisiana College||14||1-8 (0-1)|
|Rank||Team (1st place votes)||Pts.||2019 Record (ASC)|
|1.||Hardin-Simmons (6)||65||4-6 (1-0)|
|2.||Concordia Texas (4)||60||4-1 (0-0)|
|4.||Mary Hardin-Baylor (1)||41||1-6 (0-0)|
|5.||Howard Payne (1)||28||3-9 (0-1)|
|6.||Sul Ross State||14||0-1 (0-0)|
2021 ASC Men’s Tennis Preseason Players to Watch
Players selected by their respective head coach
|Joan Soler||Gr.||Belhaven||Barcelona, Spain|
|Matthew Ridden||So.||Belhaven||Gladstone, Australia|
|Esteban Arredondo W||Jr.||Concordia Texas||The Woodlands, Texas|
|Joeri Bregman||Fr.||Concordia Texas||Zoetermeer, Netherlands|
|Randal Lemmon||Fr.||East Texas Baptist||Tomball, Texas|
|Christian Dubec||Fr.||East Texas Baptist||Thrall, Texas|
|Alex Pavkovich||Sr.||Hardin-Simmons||Queensland, Australia|
|Desmond O’Shea||So.||Hardin-Simmons||College Station, Texas|
|Alexander Shelton||Fr.||Howard Payne||New Braunfels, Texas|
|Micah Hunter||Fr.||Howard Payne||Waco, Texas|
|Julian Lee||So.||LeTourneau||Albuquerque, N.M.|
|Rodrigo Vazquez Chairez||Sr.||LeTourneau||Colima, Mexico|
|Alejandro Omana||So.||Mary Hardin-Baylor||Fort Worth, Texas|
|Cody Aaron||Jr.||Mary Hardin-Baylor||Fort Stockton, Texas|
|Carlos Martinez W||Sr.||McMurry||Monterrey, Mexico|
|Dylan Bryant||So.||McMurry||Ovalo, Texas|
|Hikaru Yamaya||Fr.||Ozarks||Osaka, Japan|
|TJ Saniseng||So.||Ozarks||Van Buren, Ark.|
|Jonathan Rivas||Fr.||Sul Ross State||San Angelo, Texas|
|Kyle Villalon||Fr.||Sul Ross State||Corpus Christi, Texas|
|Ritvik Ganesan||Fr.||UT Dallas||Plano, Texas|
|Ashwin Vaithianathan * W||Sr.||UT Dallas||Highlands Ranch, Colo.|
2019 All-Conference *
2019 All-West Division W
Hardin-Simmons Sweeps Track & Field Athletes of the Week
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE TRACK & FIELD ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Competitions: January 23-24, 2021
MEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – Malik Pratt, Jr., Hardin-Simmons
Hardin-Simmons junior Malik Pratt (Killeen, Texas) broke the school record in the 600 meters with a time of 1:23.45, placing second at the Friends NAIA Mid-Season Invite in Wichita, Kan. He ran the anchor leg of the 4×400, which won the race in 3:26.17 and led NCAA Division III. Pratt also won the 400 meters in 50.90, which ranks second in the nation, and he also had the 10th-best 200 meter dash in 23.34. It is his second career Athlete of the Week award.
MEN’S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – E.J. Konah, Jr., Hardin-Simmons
Hardin-Simmons junior E.J. Konah (Philadelphia, Pa.) placed second in the long jump at the Friends NAIA Mid-Season Invite in Wichita, Kan. with a leap of 6.63 meters (21 ft.-9 in.), ranking third in the nation. He also had the fourth-best triple jump in NCAA Division III, clearing 13.18 meters (43 ft.-3 in.) and the best 60 meter dash time of 6.97 seconds. Konah also ran on the winning 4×400 meter relay team, with a time of 3:22.94 – the best time in the country.
WOMEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – Dani Cooper, Fr., Hardin-Simmons
Hardin-Simmons freshman Dani Cooper (Kennedale, Texas) ran a time of 1:02.96 in the 400-meter dash at the Friends NAIA Mid-Season Invite in Wichita, Kan., placing sixth in the meet and third in the nation. She ran the anchor leg for the 4×400 meter relay team that won with a 4:20.28, ranking fifth in the nation. Cooper also ran an 8.19 second time in the 60-meter dash, ranking ninth in Division III.
WOMEN’S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK – Keni Fisher, Sr., Hardin-Simmons
Hardin-Simmons senior Keni Fisher (Buna, Texas) placed second in the long jump at 5.06 meters (16 ft.-7.25 in.), ranking 10th in the country, at the Friends NAIA Mid-Season Invite. She also placed fifth in the high jump, clearing 1.42 meters (4 ft.-7.75 in.), running on the 4×400 meter relay, and making the finals in the 60-meter dash. It is Fisher’s second career Athlete of the Week award.
OTHER TOP MEN’S PERFORMANCES
Belhaven senior Kelton Kemp (Hazlehurst, Miss.) placed fifth at the Samford Open in Birmingham, Ala. With a 60 meter hurdle time of 8.60 seconds, he was ranked fourth in NCAA Division III. He also ran the 400-meter dash in 51.65, ranking eighth in the country, and had a 200 time of 22.85 seconds at the KMS Invitational, which is seventh in the nation.
OTHER TOP WOMEN’S PERFORMANCES
Belhaven sophomore Ashaunti Barnes (Pearl, Miss.) had the sixth-best 400-meter time in the nation, running a 1:03.37 at the Samford Invitational. She also ran the 200-meter dash in 27.42 at the KMS Invitational in Birmingham, Ala.
UTD and HSU Tabbed to Win Women’s Tennis Titles
RICHARDSON, Texas –UT Dallas and Hardin-Simmons picked to win the 2021 American Southwest Conference women’s tennis East and West Division titles, respectively, after a vote of the league’s head coaches announced by the conference office Monday (January 25).
The Comets received 68 points and nine of the 12 first-place votes to secure the East’s top spot. The Cowgirls collected 67 points and 10 of the 12 first-place votes to lead the West Division.
East Texas Baptist was picked second in the East Division with 59 points and three first-place votes. LeTourneau (45), Ozarks (39), Belhaven (29), and Louisiana College (15) followed them.
In the West, McMurry was selected second with 56 points and one first-place vote, followed by Concordia Texas (52/1), Mary Hardin-Baylor (36), Howard Payne (26), and Sul Ross State (15).
UTD was the West Division and ASC champion in 2019 with a 12-2 overall record and 6-0 mark in conference play but will move to the East this season. The Comets advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Division III Championship. HSU finished second in the West Division with a 5-1 mark.
UT Dallas was 2-1 in 2020 before the season came to an abrupt end. Hardin-Simmons went 5-4 and were 1-0 in ASC play.
In addition to the preseason poll, 22 players were named to the ASC Women’s Tennis Preseason Watch List by the head coaches, including the 2019 ASC West Division Player of the Year – Kathy Joseph UT Dallas.
The women’s tennis season will begin on Saturday, January 30. The 2021 ASC Women’s Tennis Championship is scheduled for May 6-8 and hosted by the West Division #1 seed.
Baker, Johnson, Paredes Named Men’s Basketball Players of the Week
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Games: January 21-23, 2021
EAST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Kae’ron Baker, Sr., G, Louisiana College
Louisiana College senior guard Kae’ron Baker (Navasota, Texas) scored a career-high 36 points, going 7-of-9 from three-point territory, with another career-best six steals in the Wildcats’ 90-75 victory over UT Dallas. He also grabbed three rebounds and dished out an assist while shooting 12-of-21 from the field. It is Baker’s second Player of the Week of the season and fifth of his career.
CO-WEST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Josiah Johnson, So., G, Mary Hardin-Baylor
Mary Hardin-Baylor sophomore guard Josiah Johnson (Big Sandy, Texas) poured in 35 points and grabbed a team-best six rebounds in the Cru’s 94-66 victory at McMurry. It was his sixth 30-point performance of the season. Johnson posted 13 points and six boards in a 77-67 win at Hardin-Simmons to average 24.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per contest. It is his fourth Player of the Week of the season.
CO-WEST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Julian Paredes, Jr., F, Sul Ross State
Sul Ross State junior forward Julian Paredes (El Paso, Texas) scored a career-high 29 points in a 72-70 thriller over East Texas Baptist. He added five rebounds while shooting 10-of-13 from the field, 5-of-6 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-5 at the line.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
UT Dallas senior forward Michael Forster (Austin, Texas) averaged 19.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent (14-of-28) from the field as the Comets split a pair of road games to open ASC play last week. Forster scored 23 points, hitting 4-of-8 three-pointers, Saturday afternoon as the Comets earned a 103-83 win over Belhaven. He also had 15 points and seven rebounds Thursday in a road loss at Louisiana College.
Belhaven sophomore guard Luke Couch (Vestavia Hills, Ala.) led all players with 27 points on 10-of-21 shooting in the Blazers’ loss to UT Dallas. Couch also had five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a blocked shot.
East Texas Baptist junior forward Charlie Cochran (Louisville, Ky.) scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting in a two-point loss at Sul Ross State. He followed nine points, seven rebounds, and two assists in an 87-51 victory at Howard Payne and averaged 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists while shooting 60 percent (12-of-20).
McMurry freshman guard Matt Pena (El Paso, Texas) led the War Hawks with 17 points, shooting 4-of-6 from behind the arc, in their loss to Mary Hardin-Baylor. He also had a rebound, two assists, and three steals.
Hardin-Simmons sophomore guard Aidan Walsh (Katy, Texas) led the Cowboys with 16 points and four assists to go with two steals in a loss to Mary Hardin-Baylor. He shot 60 percent (6-of-10) from the field and 50 percent (3-of-6) from outside.
Howard Payne senior forward Tyrell Thompson (Houston, Texas) led the Yellow Jackets with 14 points and seven rebounds in a loss to East Texas Baptist.
Harrison, Schnabel Earn Women’s Hoops Players of the Week
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Games: January 21-23, 2021
EAST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Alex Harrison, So., F, Louisiana College
Louisiana College sophomore forward Alex Harrison (Oakdale, La.) scored 14 of her 21 points in the fourth quarter and overtime during Saturday’s comeback 84-75 victory against Ozarks. She also grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds with four steals and an assist. It is her second Player of the Week of the season.
WEST DIVISION PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Brittany Schnabel, G, So., Hardin-Simmons
Hardin-Simmons sophomore guard Brittany Schnabel (Millsap, Texas) had one of the best games as the Cowgirls beat Mary Hardin-Baylor in a 68-55 victory. She played all 40 minutes and had 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals with no turnovers. Schnabel was also 4-of-7 from three-point range to earn her second Player of the Week of the season.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
East Texas Baptist senior guard Mallory Stephens (Keene, Texas) was two rebounds short of a double-double with 17 points and eight rebounds in a 68-57 victory at Sul Ross State. She added 10 points, including a key three-pointer late in the fourth quarter in a 68-61 win at Howard Payne. For the week, Stephens averaged 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per contest.
Belhaven junior forward Kei Honey (Calhoun City, Miss.) led the Blazers with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting off the bench in a 72-70 win over Ozarks. She also grabbed four rebounds and was 4-of-5 from three-point range.
Ozarks junior forward Kelsey Dixson (Hector, Ark.) averaged a double-double over two games, scoring 14.5 points and grabbing 13.0 rebounds per contest for the Eagles. She shot 66 percent (14-of-21) and tallied three blocks.
Mary Hardin-Baylor sophomore forward Hannah Eggleston (Magnolia, Texas) averaged 11.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as the Cru split in Abilene. She shot 59 percent (10-of-17) and blocked five shots in two games.
McMurry forward sophomore Destiny Mathews (Palestine, Texas) averaged 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.0 steals per game as the War Hawks went 0-2. She scored a season-best 17 points and grabbed ten rebounds with a career-high seven steals against Howard Payne.
Sul Ross State sophomore forward Vania Hampton (Austin, Texas) was one rebound shy of a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds in a 68-57 loss to East Texas Baptist. She shot 7-of-11 from the field and was 2-of-2 from outside.