INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Prior to the start of the 2017 Horizon League Tournament, the league handed out their annual postseason awards, with Cleveland State rookie Nico Mostardi picking up Freshman of the Year honors and senior Colton Buffington earning the Herb Foster Sportsmanship Award.
NICO MOSTARDI | FR. | FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR & SECOND TEAM ALL-LEAGUE
After playing the entire spring season at No. 1 singles, Nico Mostardi picked up Horizon League Freshman of the Year honors along with earning a spot on the All-Horizon League Second Team. Mostardi, who leads the Vikings with 10 singles wins this spring, was the only rookie in the league to play at the top of the singles lineup during league matches.
At Cleveland State, Mostardi is the first freshman to play at No. 1 singles since the 2011-12 season, and is the only rookie under head coach Brian Etzkin to appear at the top of the lineup for their entire freshman campaign.
Mostardi has also been part of Cleveland State's most successful doubles team this spring, teaming with Andre Mick to post a team-best 10-7 record in dual matches. Against league opponents, this duo owns a perfect 4-0 record.
Mostardi is just the third Viking all-time to earn Freshman of the Year accolades from the Horizon League, joining Matt Kuelker (2011) and Jay Tee (2003) in the exclusive club. Mostardi is also the 12th Viking to earn Second Team honors under Etzkin, and just the fifth to be named to the team as a freshman.
COLTON BUFFINGTON | SR. | HERB FOSTER SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD
Colton Buffington captured the Herb Foster Sportsmanship Award in recognition of his fairness and integrity displayed throughout the season. As a senior captain, Buffington is a leader on and off the court for the team, and has often times been praised for his support of not only his teammates but also his opponent.
During his career as a Viking, Buffington has been an integral part of the singles and doubles lineup, making an immediate impact on the team after transferring in as a sophomore.
Buffington is the fourth Viking to earn the Herb Foster Sportsmanship Award, joining Rob Fox (2011), Steven Wipprecht (2009), and Brad Groleski (2006).