(Posted April 20, 2006)

Huntingdon, PA - After concluding one of the finest seasons in its history the Juniata College men's tennis team has been rewarded with three spots on the Commonwealth Conference All-Conference team as voted by the conference's seven head coaches. Senior Neil Eicher (Altoona/Altoona) was selected as a first-team All-Conference performer while junior Brandon Long (Lebanon/Lebanon) and freshman Jonathan Skoner (Central Catholic/Pittsburgh) both claimed second-team honors. Skoner was also selected as the Commonwealth Rookie of the Year. The Commonwealth Men's Tennis All-Conference Team consists of a first and second team, each with seven honorees.

Eicher earns All-Conference recognition for the third time in his career, and is a first-team honoree for the second time. The senior played every match at first singles for Juniata and boasted a record of 10-8 on the year. The 10 victories marked a new single-season high for him, as his previous best was five singles wins during his freshman season. Eicher earned two victories in Commonwealth Conference competition at first singles with all of his losses coming against players who were also on the All-Conference Team. His two conference wins came against Susquehanna and Elizabethtown, including a three-set victory against the Blue Jays. Eicher also teamed with Long to earn a 10-8 record as Juniata's first doubles team. The duo had two wins against conference opponents and an impressive 8-4 mark in non-conference matches.

Long enjoyed a career-season in his junior year. After going winless at first singles in 2005 he earned a 14-4 record for Juniata in 2006, playing primarily at the fourth singles position. His 14 singles victories tied him for the top total on the Juniata team. Long was also Juniata's most consistent player in conference play as he earned a sparkling 5-1 record in conference singles matches, a total which led the team. He enjoyed the highest winning percentage at fourth singles of any player in the conference. In two of his conference singles wins, he rallied from one-set deficits to eventually claim three-set victories. He also teamed with Eicher to post 10 wins in doubles competition, giving him a team-high total of 24 victories overall this season. Those 24 victories tripled his previous single-season best for wins in a year.

Skoner made an immediate impact for the Blue and Gold in his first collegiate season as he compiled a 14-4 record in singles action. Playing all of his matches at the second singles spot, he tied for the team lead with 14 singles wins and he tied for the most wins of any player in the conference at the second singles position. Skoner was a solid force for Juniata in conference action as he went 3-3 during the regular season and also earned a win for Juniata in its Commonwealth Conference semifinal match. He had singles wins against Susquehanna, Lebanon Valley and Elizabethtown on the year and then avenged a regular-season loss against Albright with his semifinal victory. Skoner also saw doubles action in 11 matches on the season and earned a solid 7-4 mark, including two conference victories. His 21 overall victories ranked second on the team.

Juniata finished the season with a record of 13-5 which established a new program record for wins in a season. The Eagles also reached the Commonwealth Conference postseason for the first time. Juniata will now send nine athletes to compete at the MASCAC Individual Tennis Championships April 29-30.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.