Adam Cohen, regional National Junior College Athletic Association Coach of the Year, has plenty to smile about. Aside from his own coaching award, his men’s team will be competing in the national championship.
“We knew they were strong going in this season with the recruiting brought in from Penny Powell and coach Cohen from last year,” said Todd Bolser, sports information director.
The team has done well beyond what many thought they would be capable of under its 22-year-old coach, going 11-3 this season.
Earlier this season, Cohen said he expected the match against Johnson County to serve as a measuring stick for the level of play the team would see if they made it to the national championship.
Mesa lost, but he said it was due to a number of the team’s members who were out of town during spring break when the match took place.
The team split the season, with the Gauchos of Scottsdale winning at their first meeting in February but losing in March, according to Cohen.
“We probably might end up matching up with Scottsdale again at nationals,” he added.
Veteran players have stepped up to help lead MCC tennis this season, when MCC’s No. 1 player went down, the team called upon sophomore Zack Galas to fill in during doubles play.
Galas was able to surprise not only the opposing team by keeping the match close, but his very own coach.
“Since then he has earned his spot at nationals for doubles,” said Cohen, but the team is still working out who their top six players will be.