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Henry Patten named Big South Tennis Player of the Year

Henry Patten named Big South Player of the Year (WLOS Staff).jpg

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – UNC Asheville men's tennis players Henry Patten and Josh Swindler were honored by the Big South Conference on Tuesday, April 18, as both earned all-conference honors.

Patten was named the Big South Conference Player of the Year and was named to the All-Academic Team. Both he and Swindler earned first-team all-conference honors in both singles and doubles.

"We're obviously very proud of Henry and Josh, and this is a nice cap on a great season," UNC Asheville men's tennis head coach Tom Hand said. "However, I know their focus at this moment remains on having a successful team showing at the conference tournament this week."

A sophomore from Manningtree, Eessex, U.K., has been extremely impressive in his performances this season, earning himself back-to-back Big South Men's Tennis Player of the Week honors for matches played Jan. 23-29 as well as Feb. 27-March 6. Patten topped the No. 102 ranked singles player at the time, Scott Webster of Appalachian State, earlier this season. Patten also defeated the No. 66 ranked singles player at the time, Eduardo Mena of Tennessee Tech.

Ranked 118th by the Oracle/ITA Division I Collegiate Rankings, Patten led the Big South Conference standings at the No. 1 singles slot and finished the regular-season 19-0 in singles play, winning every match in straight sets but one. With his last match, Patten became the first Bulldog to achieve an undefeated regular-season at No. 1 singles in the history of the program.

In addition to dominating on the court, Patten prides himself on his work inside the classroom as well, boasting a 3.522 GPA as a Management major.

A native of Clemmons, N.C., Swindler has shown his resiliency and determination this year as seven of his 19 matches have gone a full three sets. He is not only 14-5 on the season in singles play, but 6-1 in matches that have gone the distance. The senior also sits atop the Big South Conference standings at the No. 2 singles slot.

The No. 1 doubles duo of Patten and Swindler has had a phenomenal season. After their last victory, the top pairing improved to 18-1 on the year and they are currently riding a 14-match winning streak heading into championship play.

Patten, Swindler and the UNC Asheville men's tennis team will next travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. to compete in the Big South Men's Tennis Conference Championship which lasts from April 19-21. The No. 7 seeded Bulldogs will meet the No. 2 seed, the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs, in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Wednesday, April 19, with a start time of 9 a.m. at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.

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