Guilford Men's Tennis Team Claims Top ODAC Honors

Dave McCain (photo by Zach Morgan '14)
Dave McCain (photo by Zach Morgan '14)

FOREST, Va. – Guilford College's men's tennis team took home three of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference's (ODAC) major awards and earned six all-conference commendations Tuesday. The Quakers' Dave McCain won the league's Coach of the Year Award for the second time in four seasons. Sophomore Tate Godwin received the ODAC/ Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete honor. Freshman teammate Elijah Gregory became Guilford's second ODAC Rookie of the Year in as many seasons after Godwin captured the 2016-17 prize.

Godwin was a First Team All-ODAC selection for the second straight season at first singles. Sophomore Mason Robb collected first-team all-league recognition at both second singles and second doubles. Gregory was Robb's partner at second doubles and the league's second-team pick at third singles. Guilford senior Graham Pearson received Second Team All-ODAC recognition at fourth singles.

McCain guided Guilford to a 13-5 overall record in his eighth campaign as the Quakers' mentor. Guilford notched its most overall wins in a season since 1996 and finished second in the ODAC regular-season standings with a school-record 9-1 mark. The Quakers' singles entries combined for a 43-17 overall record, including a 19-5 mark at first- and second singles. McCain used all eight team members during the season and withstood weather postponements and periodic injuries, including the loss of senior Chasen Chacon late in the year. Guilford closed the regular season by winning eight of 10 matches and went 6-1 on the road. The Quakers earned the ODAC Tournament's second seed and reached the semifinals for the fifth time in seven seasons before falling to number-three Hampden-Sydney College. McCain ranks second in school history with a 74-60 overall men's tennis coaching record.

Godwin (right) is Guilford's first winner of the ODAC's Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete honor. In addition to filling the Quakers' top spots in both singles and doubles, the four-time dean's list student owns a 3.99 grade point average as an economics major. He posted a 16-7 overall record at first singles, including a 14-3 dual-match record. Godwin went 8-2 in the conference and won 12 of his final 13 matches of the year, losing only to ODAC Player of the Year Harry Shepherd of Washington and Lee University. Godwin split time at first and third doubles where he compiled an 11-10 overall record.

Gregory enjoyed one of the most successful rookie campaigns in school history. His 36-11 overall record (singles & doubles combined) stands sixth on Guilford's charts and is the school's best-recorded mark since 1986. Gregory won 76.6 percent of his matches, the fifth-best figure in school history. He logged a 19-5 overall singles mark, including a 10-2 ledger at third singles. His 19 singles wins stand ninth on Guilford's all-time list and second in the Quakers' NCAA Division III era. Gregory won 79.2 percent of singles contests, Guilford's seventh-best winning percentage. When teamed with Robb, the tandem went 17-5 overall, 9-1 in the league. Gregory had a 17-6 overall doubles record, which ranks fifth on Guilford's season wins list.

Robb (right) lost one ODAC match out of 20 total tilts. He ran the table with a 10-0 singles mark at the number-two flight and went 9-1 with Gregory at second doubles. Robb forged a 15-6 overall singles record, including a 14-2 mark in dual matches. One of his best wins was a 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (10-6) victory over regionally ranked Mitchell Thomas of Washington and Lee. Robb's 17-5 doubles record ranks fifth at Guilford and his .773 winning percentage is eighth best. In singles and doubles combined, Robb posted a 32-11 overall record. The 32 wins stand 10th on the Quakers' season list and the .744 winning percentage ranks eighth. Robb won the ODAC's Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week Award April 16.

Pearson garnered second-team laurels after posting a 7-2 league record at fourth singles. He had a 9-11 overall mark, which included third-singles five setbacks. Pearson heated up down the stretch, winning nine of his last 11 matches, all in straight sets. He started the season paired with Chacon at second doubles before joining with Godwin to form Guilford's top tandem. Pearson had a 12-10 overall doubles record, 5-4 in the ODAC and 9-5 at first doubles. The team captain graduated earlier this month with a business degree. Pearson compiled a 20-17 career singles record and a 30-28 doubles mark in his three seasons on the team.

McCain could return as many as six letter winners next season, including Godwin, Gregory, and Robb.