ITA Honors Bowdoin Men's Tennis With National Awards

More photos available at www.CIPhotography.com
More photos available at www.CIPhotography.com

BRUNSWICK, Maine - In advance of Wednesday's NCAA Championship for the Bowdoin men's tennis team, several Polar Bears were lauded for their outstanding play during the 2016 season in national awards handed out by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

In the national awards, Bowdoin's Conor Smith was recognized as the Wilson/ITA Division III Coach of the Year, senior Luke Trinka (Oak Park, Ill.) was named the ITA Division III Most Improved Player, sophomore Luke Tercek (Washington, D.C.) was named the ITA Division Division III Player to Watch. Additionally, senior Chase Savage (Bernardsville, N.J.) was named the Northeast Region recipient of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.

Head Coach Conor Smith has taken the Bowdoin program to another level in 2016, reaching as high as No. 2 in the national rankings, before settling into the No. 4 ranking entering the NCAA Tournament. He guided the Polar Bears to a perfect 5-0 mark in the championship, including a pair of come-from-behind wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals en route to the program's first national title. The Polar Bears ended the year with a school-best 20 wins against just three losses. He is the ninth Bowdoin coach to earn a National Coach of the Year Award, joining Nicky Pearson (field hockey, 2007, '08, '10, '13), Sidney Watson (men's ice hockey, 1971, '78), Terry Meagher (men's ice hockey 1986, '89), John Cullen (women's soccer, 1992), Michele Amidon (women's ice hockey, 2003) and Stefanie Pemper (women's basketball, 2004).

Trinka finished his senior season with a 20-5 record, playing at #2 and #3 for Bowdoin this year while also sporting a 17-6 record at No. 1 doubles. He's currently ranked No. 10 in the Northeast Region in singles and No. 1 in doubles with teammate Luke Tercek. Trinka began his career at Bowdoin not starting in either singles or doubles, but while he was unable to crack the singles lineup his freshman year, he did see time at the No. 3 doubles position. His sophomore year, Trinka won the ITA Regional Championship, defeating the No. 1 players from Williams, Bates, Tufts and Wesleyan along the way. He's been a fixture at or near the top of the Bowdoin lineup since that point, and was named team co-captain for his senior year.

Playing at the #1 singles and doubles positions, Tercek has recorded an 19-9 singles record and 17-6 doubles mark. He reached the final at the 2015 Fall ITA Regional tournament. He's currently ranked No. 4 in the Northeast Region in singles and No. 1 in doubles, with teammate Luke Trinka.

A co-captain on this year's team, Savage played exclusively at doubles this year with Gil Roddy, going 18-4, including a huge doubles point in Bowdoin's 5-4 NCAA Semifinal win over Emory. Off the court, Savage was named NESCAC All-Sportsmanship and was awarded the school's Thorne Trophy For Outstanding Leadership by a Male Athlete.