Four Black Knights Named All-PL, Poling Earns Coach Of The Year

Alex Van Velzer

Alex Van Velzer

May 6, 2014

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army senior Asika Isoh was selected to the All-Patriot League First Team for the fourth year in a row, while junior Alex Van Velzer and freshmen Sam Lampman and Grant Riechmann were voted to the all-league second team, the conference announced Tuesday. Additionally, Lampman earned Rookie of the Year honors, and 12th-year head coach Jim Poling drew Coach of the Year accolades.

Isoh, who landed on the All-Patriot League First Team as a freshman, sophomore and junior, joins Arnie Albornoz (2000-03) and John Sabian (2001-04) as the only Army players to draw first team honors in each one of their four seasons.

Van Velzer's second team selection is the first of his career, while Poling receives the Patriot League Coach of the Year award for the fourth time, after being recognized in 2005, 2006 and 2011.

Isoh went 9-3 in singles and 7-1 in doubles during the spring season, including a 4-1 singles mark and a 4-0 doubles record in the Patriot League. All of his singles contests were played at the No. 1 position, while his doubles matches were split between the first and second slots. The Cambria Heights, N.Y., native tallied off a season-long four-match winning streak from March 22 to April 5, with three of those matches coming against Patriot League competition.

Isoh played the majority of his doubles matches alongside Van Velzer, including three contests in the Patriot League Tournament at the top flight. In the Patriot League Championship match on April 27, Isoh prevailed for a 6-3, 6-3 win over Navy's Calvin Mark to help the Black Knights earn a 4-1 win and collect their sixth league title.

Van Velzer went 14-4 in singles dual matches, while posting a 7-1 mark in doubles competition. The Montgomery, Texas, native finished the year by winning nine straight singles matches, including three victories in the Patriot League Tournament. Van Velzer dropped just five games over the course of the conference tournament, winning, 6-0, 6-1, in the quarterfinals against Lafayette and 6-0, 6-3 in the semifinals against Lehigh before registering a 6-0, 6-1 decision versus Navy in the league title match.

Van Velzer competed at the fifth singles position throughout the tournament and helped lead the Black Knights to their sixth Patriot League Championship and first since 2011. Van Velzer also drew the tournament's most-valuable player honors. To go along with his on-the-court accolades, Van Velzer was recognized as the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Monday.

Lampman and Riechmann become the second pair of Army freshmen in as many years to earn All-Patriot League Second Team honors, after sophomores Caison Best and Harrison McCormick were selected to the second team a year ago. Lampman becomes Army's fourth Rookie of the Year winner and the first since Gary Kushnirovic in 2010.

Lampman and Riechmann each posted a team-high 15 singles wins in dual matches, while Riechmann collected an Army-best 15 doubles victories. Competing from the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions, Lampman dropped his first career dual match before winning his next seven from Feb. 2 to March 2. The native of Orlando, Fla., went 8-3 in doubles matches, while playing with five different partners. He teamed up with Riechmann to go 3-0 in the Patriot League Tournament, posting wins over Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy.

Grant Riechmann

A native of Houston, Texas, Riechmann competed primarily at the second and third singles flights, but played at No. 3 in all three Patriot League Tournament matches. The freshman won a closely-contested 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) match over Lehigh's Mitchell Petersen in the tournament's semifinals, while his quarterfinal and championship matches went unfinished.

Poling receives Patriot League Coach of the Year honors after leading the Black Knights to their sixth league title, and the fourth during his 12 years at West Point. Poling became the winningest coach in Army men's tennis history after collecting his 177th victory with the program on April 12. The win came in a 4-3 decision over Navy in the annual Star Match. Poling also reached the 400-career win milestone after his team's 7-0 victory over Sacred Heart on March 28.

Poling leads the Black Knights into this weekend's NCAA Tournament with a 408-285 career record through 28 seasons, while boasting a 181-118 record at Army.

Army (20-5) will continue its 2014 season with an NCAA Tournament contest against the University of Virginia on Saturday, May 10 at noon.

2014 Patriot League Awards

Player of the Year
Nick Bybel, Bucknell

All-League First Team
Asika Isoh, Army
Nick Bybel, Bucknell
Luke Gensburg, Colgate
Ben Gilman, Lehigh
Calvin Mark, Navy
Austin Jones, Navy

All-League Second Team
Alex Van Velzer, Army
Sam Lampman, Army
Grant Riechmann, Army
Chanon Varapongsittikul, Boston University
Mark Goldberg, Lehigh
Blake Daniel, Navy

Rookie of the Year
Sam Lampman, Army

Coach of the Year
Jim Poling, Army

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