Dalen Klassen Named MAAC Menís Tennis Player Of The Year; Bjerke Rookie Of The Year
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – Regardless of this weekend’s results, the team bus for the Marist men’s tennis team will be significantly heavier on the return trip from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships. At Friday night’s award banquet, the Red Foxes highlighted the evening as junior Dalen Klassen (St. Louis, Mo.) was named the MAAC Player of the Year and freshman Fredrik Bjerke (Oslo, Norway) was selected as the Rookie of the Year. Additionally, the entire starting lineup for Marist was named to either the All-MAAC First or Second Team.
Klassen enjoyed an outstanding junior campaign, finishing the regular season with an overall record of 23-9 at singles and 14-13 at doubles. He played a great fall season, going 12-3 in the first semester including winning eight matches in a row at one point, and 12 of 13. Klassen won his singles’ flight at the USTA Invitational. In doubles, Klassen teamed up with senior Billy Bishop (Houston, Texas) for all 14 of his doubles victories. The duo went 7-2 when playing at the top position in dual matches and 4-0 in MAAC action.
Bjerke joined the Red Foxes for the spring semester and put together a great rookie campaign. He went 11-3 in singles’ matches, playing mostly at the fifth and sixth position but also going 4-0 when playing at second, third and fourth, while also adding an 8-5 record at doubles. Bjerke finished the season by going 9-1 in his final 10 matches, including a 5-1 mark against MAAC opponents. He paired with fellow Norwegian Trym Nagelstad (Oslo, Norway) in doubles, winning five matches at second doubles and another three at first.
The Red Foxes had five players named to the All-MAAC Singles’ First Team, led by Lorenzo Rossi (Lugano, Switzerland) at first singles. The two-time defending MAAC Player of the Year and 2011 Rookie of the Year won 14 matches this year. He went 4-1 in MAAC competition and seven of his wins came in dual matches at the first singles’ position. He also won six matches in tournament action. It is the third time in his three years that Rossi has been named to the First Team at first singles.
Klassen was named to the First Team at second singles, sharing the position with Fairfield’s George Tioutine. It is the second All-MAAC singles’ selection for Klassen as he was also named to the First Team in 2012 in the sixth position.
Joris Van Eck (Ospel, The Netherlands) was also selected to the First Team at fourth singles after posting a career-high 20 singles’ victories this year. He won four matches at fourth singles and won all three matches when moving up to the third position. He went 7-3 in his final 10 matches. It is Van Eck’s second career selection to the First Team. He also earned the honor in 2011 at second singles.
Joseph Dube (Livonia, Mich.), the reigning MAAC Rookie of the Year, earned a second consecutive First Team nod at fifth singles. He tore through the competition this season, finishing with a 31-4 record in singles. Dube went 16-2 in tournament play and 15-2 in dual matches, including a perfect 6-0 in MAAC competition. He finished the regular season on an eight-match winning streak.
Bjerke rounded out the Marist singles’ player on the First Team with a selection to the sixth position.
After being named to the Second Team at third doubles in 2012, the doubles’ pairing of Klassen and Bishop earned their second All-MAAC selection as they were named this year’s First Team at first doubles. The duo went 14-12 on the season, including a 7-2 mark when playing at the top position and a perfect 4-0 record in MAAC matches.
Junior Will Reznek (Toronto, Canada) earned his third career All-MAAC singles’ selection as he was named to the Second Team at third singles. He won 14 matches on the season, including nine in dual matches. He went 7-3 in his final 10 matches to end the regular season. Reznek previously earned First Team nods at fourth singles in 2012 and sixth singles in 2011.
The doubles’ pairing of the Norwegian freshmen Bjerke and Nagelstad earned their first All-MAAC postseason award as they were named to the Second Team at second doubles. The duo went 8-5 on the season with all of their competition coming in dual matches. They were 5-1 against MAAC opponents.
For the second time in as many seasons, the doubles’ duo of Rossi and Van Eck earned a nod to the Second Team, earning the selection this year at the third position. The duo has won 10 matches this season, including a 5-2 record in dual matches and a 3-1 mark in MAAC competition. Last season, the two were named to the Second Team at second doubles and Rossi was also First Team at third doubles in 2011.
Four Red Foxes were also named to the MAAC All-Academic Team. Van Eck, a senior, earned his third selection while juniors Rossi and Jacob Solly (Sydney, Australia) both were named for a second time. Dube, a sophomore, was earned his first selection. To be eligible for the MAAC All-Academic Team, a student athlete must complete two semesters at their institution and hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 on a 4.0 scale.
Marist (15-3, 6-0 MAAC) will take on fourth-seeded Loyola (11-6, 3-3 MAAC) in the semifinals on Saturday at 2 p.m. The winner will compete in the championship match at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
All-MAAC First Team
No. 1 Singles: Lorenzo Rossi, Marist
No. 2 Singles: Dalen Klassen, Marist/George Tioutine, Fairfield
No. 3 Singles: Olivier Dufour-Coursol, Niagara
No. 4 Singles: Joris Van Eck, Marist
No. 5 Singles: Joseph Dube, Marist
No. 6 Singles: Fredrik Bjerke, Marist
No. 1 Doubles: Billy Bishop/Dalen Klassen, Marist
No. 2 Doubles: Ian Tesmond/Cameron Amyot, Fairfield
No. 3 Doubles: Erik Kremheller/George Tioutine, Fairfield
All-MAAC Second Team
No. 1 Singles: Ian Tesmond, Fairfield
No. 2 Singles: David Raymond, Niagara
No. 3 Singles: Will Reznek, Marist
No. 4 Singles: Lorenz Schwojer, Niagara
No. 5 Singles: Ofir Solomon, Fairfield
No. 6 Singles: Cam Amyot, Fairfield
No. 1 Doubles: David Raymond/Olivier Dufour-Coursol, Niagara
No. 2 Doubles: Trym Nagelstad/Fredrik Bjerke, Marist
No. 3 Doubles: Lorenzo Rossi/Joris Van Eck, Marist
Player of the Year: Dalen Klassen, Marist
Rookie of the Year: Fredrik Bjerke, Marist
Coach of the Year: Anthony Nguyen, Niagara