Winthrop, Mass. – A pair of Albertus Magnus College men's tennis players earned All-Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) honors on Tuesday afternoon as announced by the league office. The Falcons landed a player on the first team and second team in singles. For the first time in program history, Albertus Magnus also had a major award winner.
Senior Pete Zacharias (North Haven, Conn.) received first-team distinction for his singles play and freshman Steven Woodfield (Naugatuck, Conn.) picked up second-team accolades for Albertus Magnus and became the first player in school history to be named GNAC Rookie of the Year.
The GNAC All-Sportsmanship Team was also announced today and senior Ahmed Abdulateef (Hamden, Conn.) represented the Falcons on the squad.
Woodfield put an exclamation point on an impressive freshman campaign by picking up the league's Rookie of the Year award. During the year, he went 8-3 overall at No. 5 Singles for the Falcons and was voted GNAC Rookie of the Week on three occasions. The eight wins in singles play were the highest on the team and his 15 total wins were tops on the squad as well. In doubles play, he earned seven wins at No. 3. Steven is the son of Traci Woodfield and is majoring in sports management.
Zacharias ends his stellar playing career in New Haven by earning All-GNAC recognition for the third time, after landing on the second team in both 2014 and 2015. At the Albertus Magnus College Athletic Awards Banquet last week, he was named the Team MVP for the fourth year in a row. Throughout his time at AMC, he competed at both the No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles spots. This season, he went 7-4 in singles action, highlighted by one triumph in GNAC play. Pete is majoring in creative writing.
Abdulateef appeared in nine matches this spring for the Falcons. He earned six singles wins at No. 6 and teamed with Woodfield for six wins at No. 3 doubles. It marked the second time in his career that he was named to the GNAC All-Sportsmanship Team. Last spring, he also earned a spot on the GNAC All-Academic Team. Ahmed is the son of Semeer Khazaal and Najwa Rasheed and is majoring in International business.
The Falcons finished 2016 with a 7-4 overall record and ended the year in fourth in the GNAC South standings with an 0-3 mark in league matches. Albertus Magnus won three of its four home matches and saw three players honored by the league with weekly awards during the spring. The seven wins are the second-most in program history and in the fall the squad won the Sister Charles Marie Brantl O.P. Award for the highest team grade point average at Albertus.
Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 12 member institutions, 12 associate member institutions, and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 17 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement.