Voges Earns Sportsmanship Honors, Three Mocs Named All-SoCon

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s tennis team brought home four postseason honors from the Southern Conference, the league office announced today. Highlighting the list is senior Turner Voges winning the Don Bunch/Buddy Hartsell SoCon Sportsmanship Award.

Sophomore Tomas Rodriguez made the All-SoCon First Team in singles, while he and freshman Peyton Gatti were First Team selections in doubles. Jeffrey Dewald represented Chattanooga on the SoCon All-Freshman squad.

“It’s very nice to see the hard work and dedication by these young men being rewarded with these honors,” stated UTC head coach Chuck Merzbacher.

This is the third year in a row, and the ninth time since 2000, a Moc has won the Bunch/Hartsell Sportsmanship Award. Other winners include Jordan Goetzman (2000), Jason Ontog (2002-03), Luke Saunders (2015-16) and Niklas Gerdes (2018-19). Voges, a Chattanooga native, was 17-12 overall in singles play, including an 10-8 record at No. 2 in the spring. He was 19-9 in doubles, sporting an 11-5 mark at No. 2 with Simon Labbe.

“Turner receiving the Sportsmanship Award means a lot to our program,” continued Merzbacher. “In his two years at UTC, he played at a high level and represented himself, his family and the Mocs in such a classy way!”

Rodriguez led the Mocs with a 20-10 record in singles play. He was 11-8 at No. 1 in the spring. The Buenos Aires native teamed with Gatti at No. 1 doubles to go 6-1 in SoCon action. They were 15-9 on the year and 11-6 in the top spot in the spring.

“Tomas being named to the singles first team is an amazing accomplishment,” added Merzbacher. “He had the toughest assignment each time out in singles and doubles.

“We are also extremely proud of our doubles here at UTC. It’s a point of emphasis, so our continued great play in that area with our freshman, Peyton alongside with his partner Tomas, gaining a spot on the first team is well deserved by those two. They had a great year at the top spot!”

Dewald posted an 11-11 record in singles, playing mostly in the bottom half of the lineup where he was 7-8 in the spring. He had a 10-8 doubles record and was 5-5 in dual action.

Dewald is in his second season at Chattanooga, but is eligible for all-freshman recognition because the 2020 year was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the SoCon did not have postseason honors for those spring sports. The NCAA also allowed all student-athletes who competed in the spring 2020 season to get back that year of eligibility.

“I am so glad for Jeffrey Dewald to get recognized on the all-freshmen team,” said Merzbacher. With his play both last year and this year, his efforts did not go unnoticed and he has a bright future ahead of him.”

2021 SoCon Men’s Tennis Postseason Awards

First Team
Dimitri Badra, ETSU
Frazier Rengifo, ETSU
Ivan Mitric, Furman
Rossouw Norval, Samford
Tomas Rodriguez, Chattanooga
Omar Williams, Wofford

Jake Bhangdia/Henrik Atlevi, Furman
Victor Chaw/Jim Hendrikx, Samford
Tomas Rodriguez/Peyton Gatti, Chattanooga

Second Team
Juan Lugo, ETSU
Henrik Atlevi, Furman
Jake Bhangdia, Furman
Lucas Wayenburg, Mercer
Victor Chaw, Samford
Eladio Fabregas, Samford

Miguel Este/Dimitri Badra, ETSU
Hugo Lobo/Lucas Wayenburg, Mercer
Omar Williams/Bryce Keim, Wofford

Dimitri Badra, ETSU
Thiago Pernas, ETSU
Juan Sebastian Zabala, ETSU
Emil Westling, Furman
Jim Hendrikx, Samford
Jeffrey Dewald, Chattanooga
Ashe Ray, Wofford
*features seven players due to a tie in the voting

Player of the Year
Dimitri Badra, ETSU

Freshman of the Year
Dimitri Badra, ETSU

Don Bunch/Buddy Hartsell Sportsmanship Award
Turner Voges, Chattanooga

Coach of the Year
Rahim Esmail, Samford