Barons sweep conference men’s tennis honors

STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan University of Steubenville men’s tennis team swept the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference awards.

Head coach Jeremy Ellis was named coach of the year, junior captain Paul Jarzynka was awarded player of the year and freshman Zack Quiza was named newcomer of the year.

“This feels great,” said Ellis, getting the news of his team’s awards just a week removed from his team earning their spot in the NCAA tournament. “It’s just one of those things where, as a coach, it’s always encouraging to see the players recognized for what they’ve been able to accomplish. And, since I can’t play anymore, I might as well live vicariously through them.”

The Barons also were awarded nine of the 12 first-team all-conference honors.

FUS singles players at Nos. 1-5 were named first-team in Jarzynka, Leonel Lacayo, Brian Robau, Quiza, and John Shultis. David Freytag was second-team at No. 6 singles.

Jarzynka and Robau were first-team at No. 1 doubles and Lacayo and Quiza were given the honor for No. 2 doubles.

“It’s been a battle to get (Jarzynka and Robau) to play the doubles that I knew they could play, and they finally did it this year,” Ellis said. “That’s what you want to see as a coach – you want to see them click and make sense of what you’ve been telling them. They had a huge comeback win after being down in the conference finals, and that shows what kind of players they are.”

Jarzynka has been the backbone of the team all season. He went undefeated in the conference en route to the team’s regular season and postseason conference championship.

“This year shows the dedication Paul has put in in the last few years,” Ellis said. “It’s been amazing to see him play. He has all the weapons necessary to be a dominant player and it showed this year. To beat every team’s best player, to go undefeated in conference, to win player of the year – it’s great.”

The Barons will find out their opponent in the regional round of the NCAA tournament at 7 p.m. Monday.