ST. LOUIS – UMBC senior Melker Svärd (media and communication studies) was among eleven Missouri Valley Conference men's tennis student-athletes that have been named to the 2016 MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team by a vote of the league's men's tennis sports information directors, with approval from head coaches.
Retriever seniors Alex Drean (financial economics) and Eliott Loubatié (financial economics) were among additional three student-athletes that earned honorable mention, the league office announced today.
The criterion for the honor parallels the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) standards for Academic All-America voting. Nominees must have participated in at least 75% of the regular-season matches or be projected to play in the MVC Championship, with at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA (on a 4.00 scale). Student-athletes must have reached sophomore status in both athletic and academic standing at their institution (true freshmen, redshirt freshmen and first-year transfers were not eligible).
The Retrievers will travel to Wichita for the 2016 MVC Championships and open play on Friday, April 29 vs. Illinois State at 9:00 a.m.. UMBC (7-13, 1-1 AE) is the second-seeded team of the three America East teams competing in the championship, while ISU (9-13, 1-2 MVC) is third-seeded of four MVC squads.
The winner of that match takes on top-seeded Wichita State, which has an opening round bye. That match is slated for Saturday, April 30 at 10:00 a.m.
Last season, UMBC defeated Southern Illinois, 4-1, in the first round of the tournament, before dropping a 4-2 decision to the nationally-ranked (No. 59) Shockers.
Loubatié leads the Retrievers this spring with a 10-6 singles mark, primarily recorded at the No. 4 slot. Drean is 9-7, predominantly at the No. 3 position, while Svärd is 6-5 at the No. 2 position and 7-10 overall.