BUFFALO, NY – University at Buffalo senior Ethan Nittolo was named the Jack Vredevelt Sportsmanship Award winner on Wednesday morning as the Mid-American Conference announced their postseason awards. In addition, Nittolo and Vilhelm Fridell were named first-team All-MAC, while Hao Sheng Koay was named second-team All-MAC.
Nittolo becomes the third Buffalo player to earn the Jack Vredevelt Sportsmanship award, which is given annually to a senior who has displayed outstanding sportsmanship throughout his career. He joins Pablo Alvarez (2016) and Budi Susanto (2001) as the other winners. Nittolo was also named to the All-MAC First Team after earning second team honors last year. Playing at first singles, Nittolo went 7-5, finishing 20-12 overall, tied for the most wins on the team. The all-time winningest doubles player in school history, Nittolo went 7-5 at first doubles this year, earning 14 victories along the way.
"I am so proud of Ethan for winning the Jack Vredevelt Sportsmanship award," said head coach Lee Nickell. "Over the course of his career he has not only become an exceptional tennis player, but he also learned how to compete with good character no matter the situation. Coach Miller and I are consistently approached by random people who complement our team's behavior, and I can attribute that to Ethan's leadership and example."
Fridell is an All-MAC First Team selection for the second straight season after he posted a 20-11 record in singles, tying Nittolo and Koay for the team lead. Fridell played exceptionally well at second singles all year, finishing 10-3 at that position for Buffalo. In doubles, he played mostly at the number two spot, picking up 11 wins overall.
This is the third straight season that Koay has been honored after picking up first team accolades in 2017 and 2018. Koay absolutely dominated play at third singles where he went 15-4, capped off by his straight sets victory in the MAC Tournament, which earned him his 20th overall win of the year. Koay teamed up with Nittolo at first doubles where they picked up 10 victories this year.
"These three young men were the heart and soul of our team this season and when they were winning, we won as a group," said Nickell. "I am proud of their efforts, and I am excited to get back on the court with Hap and Ville next fall."