BUFFALO, NY – Fresh off leading the Bulls to their second ever NCAA Tournament appearance and a perfect record in Mid-American Conference play, University at Buffalo men's tennis head coach Lee Nickell has been named the Wilson/ITA Northeast Region Coach of the Year.
The Bulls went 14-6 during the 2017 season becoming the first MAC team to go 7-0 in conference play since 1999. The Bulls defeated Western Michigan 4-3 in the MAC Championship match to clinch their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2015. Nickell then led the Bulls down to SEC country and a trip against #12 Texas A&M in the first round of the NCAA Tournament where Buffalo gave the Aggies all they could handle in a first round defeat.
Nickell, who was named the MAC Coach of the Year, did all this despite a roster that included six new players this season and just two returnees from a year ago. With associate head coach Matt Lucas, Nickell did the impossible, having seven different players honored by the MAC in one fashion or another. Hao Sheng Koay was named to the All-MAC First Team, while Vidit Vaghela, Filip Grbic, and Villhelm Fridell were named to the second team. Sophomore Ethan Nittolo was named the MAC Tournament MVP, while junior Petr Vodak was named to the All-Tournament Team. Most recently, senior Tony Miller was named Academic All-MAC.
This is the first time that Nickell has earned Wilson/ITA Northeast Region Coach of the Year honors.