May 16, 2019
ITA Division II Regional Awards
Tempe, Ariz. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced the 2018-19 NCAA Division II regional award winners this week, with Lynn University’s men’s tennis team claiming two accolades. Lucca Baptista was named the South Region Player to Watch, while Jean-Baptiste Mateo was tabbed the South Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Baptista is the second player in program history to be named the regional Player to Watch, joining Willi Wolfer (2011). Mateo’s regional Assistant Coach of the Year honor is also the second in program history, joining Dennis Riegraf (2009).
The Player to Watch award is open to players who are in their second or third year of athletic eligibility and who are expected to be one of the top returning regional players next year.
Baptista, in his first season as a Fighting Knight, was a First Team All-Sunshine State Conference Singles selection this year.
The sophomore Division I transfer played at the No. 2 singles flight for Lynn in every match this season, posting a 15-4 overall record with a 6-2 mark in SSC play. He went 2-2 vs. nationally-ranked opponents and was nationally ranked in singles for two weeks. Baptista’s 15 singles victories were tied for most on the squad.
Additionally, Baptista logged a 14-4 overall record in doubles, primarily at the second flight, and was 6-2 in SSC action.
A 2018 alumnus of the Lynn men’s tennis program, Mateo stayed on as the graduate assistant coach this season. The Fighting Knights finished with their best regular season SSC record since 2014 (7-1) while earning the No. 2 seed in the SSC Tournament and the No. 4 seed in the NCAA South Regional.
While as a player for Lynn, Mateo was a two-time ITA All-American in singles, a two-time First Team All-SSC Singles honoree and was just the second player in program history to be named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, earning Second Team honors.
He closed out his career with an impressive 52-5 singles record, marking one of the highest winning percentages in program history (91.2%).
Six other awards were given for the South Region with Barry’s George Samuel winning Coach of the Year, Saint Leo’s Bruno Faletto winning Rookie of the Year, Rollins’ Nicolo De Fraia claiming Senior Player of the Year and Barry’s Daniel Ventura garnering Most Improved Senior — to highlight a few.
National award winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 21, at the 2019 Division II NCAA Tennis Championships in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
About the Fighting Knights
Lynn University’s national champion Fighting Knights compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, softball, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and volleyball. The university’s 19 intercollegiate teams are home to over 300 student athletes. Lynn is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II institution and winner of 24 national championships and 42 Sunshine State Conference titles. Representing spirit, service and strength, the Fighting Knights strive for greatness through athletic performance and academic excellence. For more information, visit: lynnfightingknights.com.
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