Santiago Perez leads the way on All-Louisiana team

By Ed Cassiere, Xaiver (LA) Associate Athletics Director for Strategic Communications


NEW ORLEANS — Led by Player of the Year Santiago Perez, Xavier University of Louisiana men’s tennis had a stellar showing on the 2020-21 All-Louisiana collegiate team announced Wednesday by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Perez is one of three from XULA to earn major awards. Juan Varon shared Freshman of the Year with LSU’s Benjamin Ambrosio — it’s the third straight season that XULA won the freshman honor. (Perez won two years ago.) And Alan Green is Coach of the Year for the fourth time and the first time since 2012.
Joining Perez on the first team is teammate Shaikh Abdullah, giving the Gold Rush two first-team All-Louisiana players for the first time since 2013 and the fourth time overall.
Perez is XULA’s second Louisiana Player of the Year in this sport. Loic Didavi won it in 2011-12 and 2012-13. Athletes from NAIA schools and HBCUs rarely win Louisiana Player of the Year in any sport.
Green shared Louisiana Coach of the Year in women’s tennis with Burzis Kanga of the University of New Orleans. It’s the second time Green won both coaching awards in the same season; he also did it in 2008-09.
The state’s college tennis publicists picked the team.
The XULA men were 13-11 in dual matches, runner-up in the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament, an NAIA nationals qualifier and No. 9 in the end-of-season coaches poll. They defeated six top-25 NAIA opponents and were 2-0 against NCAA Division I Nicholls.

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A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.