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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 30, 2010

ISLE FILE
UH's Nelson top WAC tennis coach


Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

John Nelson

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Hawai'i's John Nelson was named Western Athletic Conference Men's Tennis Coach of the Year last night at the WAC Tournament banquet in Fresno, Calif. Four Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wahine senior Sophie Kobuch were also honored.

Nelson was also 2008 WAC Coach of the Year. This season he led UH to its first regular-season title.

The 'Bows' top two players junior Dennis Lajola and Andreas Weber, their only senior were named to the first team in singles. Sophomore Leo Rosenberg, who is 16-1 at No. 3, is on the second team.

Weber was also first team in doubles, with partner Philipp Eberhard. The duo is ranked 75th nationally.

Lajola, from 'Aiea, is the first UH tennis player to earn first-team honors three straight years. Weber, from Germany, is the second to earn all-WAC selection all four years, following Sascha Heinemann.

Kobuch, from France, earned all-WAC honors in singles (second team) and doubles (first team), with freshman teammate Katarina Poljakova. It is the third straight year Kobuch was honored by the conference.

The WAC Players of the Year are Boise State's Pichittra Thongdach and James Meredith. Freshmen of the Year are Emma Verberne (Nevada) and Filipp Pogostkin (Boise). BSU's Mark Tichenor is Women's Coach of the Year.

The top-seeded UH men go after its third straight WAC Tournament title beginning tomorrow. The fourth-seeded Rainbow Wahine play Idaho today.

SURFING

POWERS PLACES 9TH

Roy Powers of Kaua'i tied for ninth place at the Billabong Santa Catarina Pro men's surfing contest yesterday at Brazil.

The final day of the three-day contest was completed in 2- to 4-foot waves at Praia da Vila, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Powers won his third-round heat, then lost in the fourth round. He was the only Hawai'i surfer to reach the fourth round.

Fellow Hawai'i surfers Kekoa Bacalso and Fred Patacchia Jr. were eliminated in the third round.

Jadson Andre, a rookie from Brazil, won the contest. He upset nine-time former world champion Kelly Slater of Florida in the final.

The event was the third of 10 stops on the 2010 ASP World Title Tour. Slater is currently ranked No. 1.

Patacchia is Hawai'i's top-ranked surfer at No. 13 overall. Powers is No. 17, and Andy Irons of Kaua'i is No. 23.

The next contest is the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay at South Africa, in July.