Several UR varsity teams and athletes garnered individual and team accomplishments this year, and are now reaping the recognition of their successes.
For the second consecutive year and third time in the program’s 58-year history, UR’s Division I squash team had four players selected as All-Americans by the College Squash Association.
Juniors Ryosei Kobayashi and Mario Yanez Tapia were recognized as First Team All-Americans, and senior Neil Cordell and sophomore Tomotaka Endo were named to the Second Team.
Kobayashi, a tenacious competitor, continues to set his sights high.
“I want to be a national champion, both team and individual,” he said.
It is this kind of ambition that allows Kobayashi to realize his potential as an athlete, finishing the season ranked second in collegiate squash. Yanez, named as a First Team All-American for the third consecutive year, was ranked fourth nationally.
For Endo, this individual honor means little compared to the team’s accomplishments.
“All-American doesn’t mean anything to me, to be honest,” Endo admitted. “I am playing for Rochester at this time, so I don’t care about the individual awards.”
A devoted teammate and athlete, Endo has an unyieldingly team-oriented mindset and an exceptionally selfless dedication to the program. Cordell, meanwhile, will end his collegiate career with his fourth consecutive All-American honor, ranking sixteenth in the nation.
UR Men’s Basketball, meanwhile, had three individuals recognized for their contributions towards an outstanding season this year.
Within this group was head coach Luke Flockerzi, who was named Coach of the Year by the local chapter of the United States Basketball Writers’ Association (USBWA).
Flockerzi is highly regarded as an inspirational coach, mentor, and friend to players and coaches alike.
“Coach Flockerzi is not only a great coach but a great person,” senior forward Jared Seltzer said. “Besides the X’s and O’s of the game of basketball, he really will go out of his way to help you in any way possible, whether it be personal or basketball-related. He has helped me throughout my career by just having faith in me and being supportive no matter what.”
Not only does Flockerzi know the game inside and out, he is also able to clearly translate even the most intricate components of basketball to his players.
“His ability to convey some very in-depth concepts for the guys to learn […] is something I’ve been really impressed with,” Assistant Coach Tim McLaughlin said.
Part of what makes Flockerzi so successful as a coach is his respect for and dedication to his players, both individually and as a team.
“I always think coaching awards just represent team accomplishments,” said Flockerzi, who also praised senior Jared Seltzer and junior Sam Borst-Smith, recipients of NCAA First Team Honors.
This is the first time in Seltzer’s four-year career that he has received post-season recognition.
“Hard work really does pay off and I am just happy that people recognized me for that,” Seltzer said.
Borst-Smith, on the other hand, is no stranger to the spotlight.
After receiving State Farm’s Assist of the Year Award, the junior guard was named to this year’s National Association of Basketball Coaches All- District First Team.
Borst-Smith consistently credits his teammates and coaches for his success, demonstrating once again that he puts his team first.
“My teammates are like my second family,” Borst-Smith said. “Throughout all of this they have been really supportive and kept pushing me to become a better basketball player each day.”
Three athletes of UR Womens’ Basketball were also named to the inaugural NCAA Division II-III Rochester Area Team, which was selected by the members of the USBWA. Senior Kayla Kibling and sophomore Alexandra Leslie were named to the First Team, while sophomore Lauren Deming received an Honorable Mention
“I was really happy for my teammates,” Kibling said. “We have all put in a lot of hard work and it feels good to represent our whole team with these recognitions.”