SHU's Kasyanov & Kaldan Win NEC Tennis Awards
Sacred Heart senior Kirill Kasyanov (Yonkers, NY) and freshman Gabi Kaldan (New Brunswick, NJ) took home Northeast Conference Tennis Player of the Week honors announced by the league on Tuesday. Kasyanov earns his second NEC Player of the Week award this year while Kaldan was named the NEC Rookie of the Week for the first time this season.
Kasyanov remained sizzling hot heading into the season's stretch run. The reigning NEC Player of Year won a pair of No. 1 singles contests last week to run his singles win streak to 13 straight contests. With the NEC Championships two weeks away, Kasyanov took down the No. 1 player on conference rival Fairleigh Dickinson. Kasyanov eased his way past FDU's Ibrahim Shams, 6-1, 6-1, in a straight sets victory that gave the Pioneers' a crucial point in their 4-3 team triumph. The win moved Kasyanov's record against NEC opponents to 5-0. With Sacred Heart stepping out of conference to face Constitution State rival Harford, Kasyanov posted another straight-set victory as part of the Pioneers' 7-0 team shutout. The decorated veteran topped Hartford's Aneil Bhalla, 6-2, 6-3. Kasyanov has won 13 of 15 No. 1 singles contests during dual match play and owns a 22-6 overall record at the top singles spot.
Kaldan won all three of her No. 3 singles matches in straight sets last week, topping opponents from the Big East, America East, and Atlantic 10. As a result, Kaldan claimed the NEC Rookie of the Week award, ending the four-week monopoly that Quinnipiac's Juliet Labarthe held over the conference's weekly rookie honor. Kaldan contributed to Sacred Heart's 5-2 team win over Providence by defeating Ayushi Sinha, 7-6, 6-4. The first-year Pioneer expended little energy to beat Hartford's Nicole Haynal, 6-0, 6-1, as part of SHU's 7-0 team shutout. Despite a team defeat at Massachusetts, Kaldman made it three singles wins in a row. She quickly topped UMass' Candynce Boney, 6-1, 6-2, at the No. 3 position. Kaldan has an 18-6 overall singles record thus far this season.