LATHAM, N.Y. –The United East Conference office released the 2022 All-United East Conference Men’s Tennis Teams Thursday morning and the St. Mary’s College of Maryland men’s tennis team had six players earn spots on the all-conference teams. Additionally, sixth-year head coach Greg Shedd named the 2022 United East Coach of the Year.
This is Shedd’s second Coach of the Year award as he seized the United East Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year award yesterday (Apr. 27). In its inaugural season in the United East, he led St. Mary’s to the regular-season conference title with an undefeated record of 5-0 and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming 2022 United East Conference Championship Tournament.
This is the second Coach of the Year award in the history of the Seahawks men’s tennis program as the late Paul Spencer was voted the 1998 Capital Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of our coaching staff and thankful to the other coaches for welcoming me into the United East Conference. I am very grateful to have received incredible support from the SMCM community, assistant coaches, administrators, staff, players, and my family throughout this season,” Shedd said. Greg Shedd, St. Mary’s College of Maryland Men’s tennis Coach
Senior captain Sam Sheats (Arnold, Md./Broadneck), sophomore Keawe Shepherd Johnson (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair), and junior Liam Pratt (Kensington, Md./Walter Johnson) were all selected to the All-United East First Team in singles while junior captain Stephen Alam (Ellicott City, Md./Marriotts Ridge), sophomore Kier Nacua (La Plata, Md./La Plata), and first-year Tyler VanValkenburg (Fredericksburg, Va./Massaponax) garnered second-team honors.
The duo of Sheats and VanValkenburg picked up First Team honors at No. 2 doubles while the tandems of Alam and Nacua and Pratt and Shepherd Johnson nabbed Second Team awards at No. 1 and No. 3, respectively.
All six are first-time postseason honorees. Six all-conference selections are a program-high, surpassing the previous mark of five set in 1998. The four First Team selections are the most ever since two in 1998 and 2000.
“I am really proud of the accomplishments of our student-athletes this year. They have embraced a growth mindset, found joy in the game, and competed at a high level while maintaining proper sportsmanship,” Shedd expressed. “It is a pleasure to coach this team, and to see them recognized for their efforts throughout the season is very rewarding.” Greg Shedd, St. Mary’s College of Maryland Men’s tennis Coach
Sheats notched First Team singles honors at the No. 3 spot as he finished the regular season with a 9-4 (5-0 UEC) record, including an 8-3 dual match record at No. 3 singles. The 6-1 captain earned United East Player of the Week honors on April 25.
Shepherd Johnson was the First Team honoree at No. 5 singles after completing the regular season with a 10-3 (3-0 UEC) record, including an 8-1 dual match mark at No. 5 singles. He currently leads the Seahawks in singles victories with 10.
Pratt wraps up the final First Team singles spot in the sixth hole as he posted an 8-4 (3-0 UEC) overall record, including a 6-1 dual match record at No. 6 singles.
Alam, the Second Team pick at No. 1 singles, tallied a 7-8 (3-2 UEC) overall singles record, including a 7-6 dual match mark at No. 1 singles. The 6-7 captain won the United East Player of the Week award on March 28.
Second Team honors at No. 2 singles went to Nacua, who came in with a 7-9 (3-1 UEC) record, went 6-6 at the second spot. Nacua gained the United East Player of the Week award on September 20.
VanValkenburg was the Second Team selection at No. 4 singles. He shares the team lead for singles victories with Shepherd Johnson as VanValkenburg holds a 10-5 (4-1 UEC) overall record, including a 7-4 dual match record at the fourth spot. He garnered the United East Player of the Week award on March 14.
Sheats and VanValkenburg are a tough team to beat as the duo earned First Team honors at No. 2 doubles after posting a team-best 15-3 (5-0 UEC) overall record, including a 13-1 dual match record.
The tandem of Alam and Nacua garnered the Second Team doubles award at the first spot with an 8-7 (3-1 UEC) overall record.
Pratt and Shepherd Johnson teamed up for Second Team honors at No. 3 doubles with a 12-2 (2-0 UEC) overall mark.
In its inaugural season in the United East, St. Mary’s College (12-3) notched an undefeated league record of 5-0, clinching the No. 1 seed in the 2022 United East Conference Championship Tournament. The United East Tournament begins this weekend at the Hershey Racquet Club in Hershey, Pa., with semifinals on Saturday, April 30, and the championship match on Sunday, May 1.
The Seahawks will face fourth-seeded Penn State Abington on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. During the regular season, St. Mary’s handed the Nittany Lions a 9-0 setback. The winner will advance to Sunday’s title match at 10:00 a.m.