Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University men's tennis freshman standout Yannic Alexander Mader (Berlin, Germany) has been chosen as the 2020 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Region Rookie of the Year.
The ITA announced the 2019-20 Division II regional award winners, recognizing the hard work on and off the court from the deserving student-athletes.
Mader was tabbed as the region's top rookie for the campaign and is now among the candidates for the national rookie of the year honor, which will be announced next week.
Last fall, Mader earned runner-up honors at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships in late September. The rookie, who had won his first four matches in the regional event, topped second-seeded and defending regional champion Renato Lima of Indianapolis in the top "A" bracket semifinals by a 6-2, 6-3 score before falling in the championship match to UIndy's Dario Huber 7-5, 6-0. The newcomer finished with a 5-1 mark and earned runner-up recognition in a large field that consisted of 128 players from 22 schools.
By virtue of his regional finish, Mader advanced and went on to compete in the ITA Cup held in Rome, Ga., as one of the nation's top fall performers. Formerly known as the Small College Nationals, the ITA Cup has history dating back to 1986, and it is the only singles and doubles national championship event for the Division II and NAIA levels.
Mader was off to a solid start in the spring as the Bulldogs resumed competition and were preparing for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) season before having the year cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Together, the Bulldog men's and women's tennis programs have combined for a total of 37 GLIAC Championships and made 43 NCAA Tournament appearances in program history. FSU had captured four of the last five GLIAC titles on the men's side prior to this spring and twice reached the D2 Final Eight or higher since 2016. The Bulldogs had also made five-straight appearances in the GLIAC Tournament Championship match and reached four consecutive NCAA Midwest Regional title contests.