Cohen co-MVP as Talented Sophomores Earn All-Big Sky Honors
No. 1 singles players Joseph Cohen and Moira Hedberg earn first team honors after each won 14 matches
The sensational sophomore seasons for Eastern Washington University tennis players Joseph Cohen and Moira Hedberg have ended with first team All-Big Sky Conference honors announced Thursday (May 2) by the Big Sky Conference, and co-MVP accolades for Cohen.
Both players won 14 matches for their respective teams, with Hedberg’s mark equaling a school record. They didn’t lose a conference match in March or April, and were joined on the All-Big Sky team by senior Kelsey Knight, who earned honorable mention accolades for the women’s team.
Cohen, a transfer from Middle Tennessee from London, England, won his final 12 singles matches of the year and was 8-0 in the Big Sky. He finished 14-3 in singles and was also 9-9 in doubles competition, as the Eagles finished the season 9-13 overall and 5-5 in the league. His win total ranks 10th in school history as he earned Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors twice this year.
Cohen didn’t lose a match after Feb. 15. He shared the co-MVP award with Sacramento State sophomore Marek Marksoo, who did not face Cohen and was 4-0 in the league and 16-3 overall.
“Joseph started off battling some injuries in the beginning of the season,” said men’s head coach Darren Haworth. “He worked his way through it, and he has become one of the best players we have had here. He did not lose a match in the last two months of the season. He continues to improve which is the scary thing.”
Hedberg, a 2011 graduate of Oxnard (Calif.) High School, tied the single season school record of 14 victories set by Kasey Knox in 2007. Hedberg finished her season 14-8 overall – all at No. 1 singles -- and was 9-1 in the league. The Oxnard, Calif., native won her final eight conference matches of the year, having not lost since Feb. 8 against then-nationally ranked Sacramento State.
“What I truly love most about Moira is her ability to go out in every match and fight for the victory, even when she's not playing her best or when her shots just don’t seem to go in,” said women’s head coach Dustin Hinson. “She has the ability to find that little glimmer of hope and she uses it to elevate her game and get the win. It’s amazing to watch and truly a pleasure to be a part of that as her coach. In addition, Moira is an inspiration to her teammates by her play on the court and her infectious attitude and smile off the court.”
Hedberg was also 13-8 in doubles play, including a 9-6 record playing alongside senior Chelsea Patton. Eastern finished the year 6-16 overall, and 3-7 in Big Sky Conference play.
In her career, Hedberg is 23-18 and will eventually be chasing the school record of 42 victories set by Rachel Berger (2006-09). She has also been a part of 17 career doubles wins.
Knight, who was sidelined in the 2008-09 season and again in 2010-11 because of knee injuries, is a 2008 graduate of Folsom (Calif.) High School. She finished the season 7-11 overall and 4-5 in Big Sky Conference matches, and also contributed five doubles wins.
Knight closed her career as one of the top 11 players in school history in career victories, with a current total of 24 to rank ninth. In doubles competition, Knight recorded 27 wins. Knight is fourth in school history with the 14 career victories she had with former doubles partner Caitlin Bampton. Knight, who earned All-Big Sky honorable mention honors in 2010, should be honored on the All-Academic squad for a third time at the end of the spring quarter.