SHU's Kasyanov Named NEC Player of the Year; Gagliardi Named Coach of the Year

FAIRFIELD, CT (April 28, 2011) - After leading the Sacred Heart Pioneers to their second Northeast Conference Championship in the last three years, senior Kirill Kasyanov(Yonkers, NY) was named the 2011 NEC Player of the Year.  This is the second-straight season Kasyanov has been voted the league's top-player by the NEC's coaches.  Head Coach Paul Gagliardi earned his second NEC Coach of the Year nod voted on by his peers.

Kasaynov also earned a spot on the NEC Singles All-Conference first team at the #1 flight and was named to the NEC Doubles All-Conference second team at the #1 flight with junior teammate Chadd Sullo (Orange, CT).  Sullo and senior Chris Ujkic (Mattituck, NY) garnered All-NEC second team honors in singles.  Ujkic was all-league at #2 flight and Sullo at the #5 flight

Joining Kasyanov on the singles first team was senior Cole Conrad(Fairfield, CT) at #6 flight.  Conrad also earned NEC Doubles All-Conference first team honors with senior teammate Nick Mazzarese(Stonington, CT) at the #3 flight.  Rounding out the Pioneers all-conference honorees are senior Michael Syer (Oakville, Ontario) and Ujkic who were named to the doubles #2 flight second team.

Kasyanov will lead the Pioneers into the NCAA Tournament in two weeks riding a 21-match winning streak.  His last singles loss came on February 12th to Akash Muppidi of Boston College in three-sets.  He boasts a 30-6 record this season and was perfect against the NEC with a 10-0 mark.  This is Kasyanov's second-straight NEC Player of the Year nod and his third appearance on the All-NEC team (2010 - 1st team; 2008 - 2nd team).  This is the second appearance on the all-conference doubles team, earing first team honors at #3 flight last spring.

Conrad takes home his first singles All-NEC honor and earns doubles all-conference honors for the third time in his career (2010 - 1st team; 2008 - 2nd team).  He sports a 14-13 singles record in 2010-11 and is currently riding a six-match winning streak heading towards the NCAA's.  Conrad was 18-12 in double play this season while he and Mazzarese posted a 6-1 record together and were 4-0 against NEC competition.  For Mazzarese, this is his third All-NEC doubles honor, earning first team in 2010 and 2009 as well.  He posted a team-best 21 doubles wins in 2010-11. 

Ujkic battled his way back from a late season injury to post a 15-13 singles record including an 8-6 mark playing at #2 to earn his first singles all-conference honor.  Ujkic is on a five-match winning streak.  He earned his second-straight spot on the All-NEC team for doubles, teaming with Syer this season for a 2-2 record against the NEC together.  Ujkic posted 12 doubles wins while Syer had 14 doubles victories this season.  Syer earned All-NEC second team honors for doubles last season and first team honors for singles in 2009.

Sullo wins his first career All-NEC awards this season after posting an impressive 18-7 singles record and an 18-12 mark in doubles play.  He was 8-1 against the Northeast Conference this season and 13-3 playing at #5 singles.  Sullo will carry a nine-match winning streak into the NCAA Tournament.  Sullo and Kasyanov teamed up for a 3-1 record against the NEC this season.

The Pioneers will find out their destination for the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday, May 3rd during the selection show.

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