BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men’s tennis squad presented its team awards for the 2006-07 season at the annual Athletic Awards Banquet held at the Millennium Hotel on May 1.
Head coach Sherif Zaher made the following presentations: Kirill Kolomytes (Moscow, Russia/Moscow High School 155) was selected as the Top Newcomer; Eric Rothstein (Phoenixville, PA/Great Valley) earned the Most Improved Player Award; Mike Rockman (Toronto, Ontario/Thornlea) received the Coaches’ Award; and Nikesh Singh Panthlia (George Town, Malaysia/BMK Penang Free School) was named Most Outstanding.
The Top Newcomer Award is presented to the individual student-athlete who distinguishes himself as the most talented new player on the team or the individual who accomplishes the greatest achievements as a first-year player. Kolomytes joined the squad in the second semester and immediately earned a spot as UB's number three singles player. Kolomytes finished the spring season with a 6-11 record and was 2-3 in Mid-American Conference matches. In doubles, he finished 5-13 with a 2-3 record in MAC play.
The Most Improved Player Award is presented to the student-athlete who has made the greatest stride or improvement in his performance from the previous season or from the beginning of the season to the end of the season. Rothstein sat out the 2005-06 season as a redshirt, hitting the courts for his first collegiate action in 2006-07. Rothstein finished 5-13 in singles and 4-8 in doubles play, seeing action at sixth singles and third doubles. Off the court, Rothstein was named to the Academic All-MAC squad at the conclusion of the season.
The Coaches’ Award is selected by the head coach and is given to the student-athlete who best exemplifies the team virtues as defined by the head coach. The recipient is one who stands out in dedication, commitment, unselfishness and enthusiasm towards helping the team improve. Rockman finished his four-year career as UB's all-time winningest singles player with 83 victories. In the 2006-07 season, Rockman tallied a 17-16 singles record and was 19-14 in doubles, primarily playing first singles and second doubles. Rockman advanced to the second round of the prestigious Intercollegiate Tennis Association's fall tournament in both singles and doubles play. Off the court, Rockman, a 2006 and 2007 Academic All-MAC selection, served as UB's Student-Athlete Advisory Athletic Committee president and earned UB's Ideal Bull Distinguished Student-Athlete Leadership Award.
Nikesh Singh Panthlia
The Most Outstanding Award is given to the student-athlete who makes the most significant contribution to the accomplishments of the team through his skills and leadership. Singh Panthlia led the Bulls in 2006-07 with a 20-13 singles mark and was 4-1 in MAC regular season matches. He spent the bulk of the spring season as UB's number two player and was 11-3 (3-0 MAC) on that spot on the ladder. He also posted a 2-5 mark (1-1 MAC) in the number one slot. He was also 15-12 (1-4 MAC) in doubles play, partnered with four different teammates during the season. He paired with sophomore Octavian Stane (Toronto, Ontario/Leaside) for an 8-5 doubles mark.
The Bulls completed their season with an 8-13 overall record and were 2-3 in the Mid-American Conference. Seeded fourth of six teams in the MAC Tournament, the Bulls were eliminated in the first round by Northern Illinois.