Rick Johnston profiles freshmen tennis players Peter Sienko and Alex Van Velzer, who had to delay their entry to the U.S. Military Academy by a year.
"Alex is one of the best recruits in the history of the program. He has great court sense, loves to compete and always leaves it all on the court." -Head Coach Jim Poling
2013-14: All-Patriot League Second Team ... earned Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award ... honored as Army Athletic Association Athlete of the Week after earning the Patriot League Tournament MVP award ... named to PL All-Academic Team and Academic Honor Roll ... finished third on team in singles victories ... posted a 14-4 overall singles record, all coming in dual matches ... spent time at numerous spots in the singles lineup ... had most success at No. 3 singles going 4-0 ... went a perfect 5-0 in conference matches ... beat Navy's Alex Gaines in straight sets at No. 6 singles in 4-3 Star Match victory ... won final nine singles matches of season before NCAA Tournament, all in straight sets ... cruised through conference tournament and took down Krishna Jana, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 5 singles in 4-1 PL title victory over Navy ... garnered a 7-1 dual match doubles record ... went 4-0 in conference play ... split time at all three doubles spots ... paired with Asika Isoh for all but two matches ... won both appearances at No. 1 doubles during regular season.
2012-13: Patriot League Academic Honor Roll ... went 1-3 in singles during the fall season before undergoing shoulder surgery ... came back in late spring to go 4-3 in duals ... played at a variety of spots, going 3-2 at No. 4 ... played in just one doubles match during the dual season ... teamed with Austin McCasin, dropping an 8-3 decision to Monmouth ... went 2-1 in singles matches during conference play ... defeated Bucknell's Josh Katten in three sets, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 ... knocked off Alan Pleat of Colgate in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.
2011-12: All-Patriot League first team member ... turned in a 14-10 singles record in dual matches to list third on the team ... spent most of the season at the No. 2 spot in both singles and doubles ... went 4-0 in dual matches at No. 1 singles ... won first collegiate dual singles match with 6-4, 6-3 victory at Fairfield ... won three of his first four contests in the spring ... earned a 10-7 doubles record alongside classmate Peter Sienko at No. 2 ... went undefeated in the conference tournament, including wins against Lafayette and top-seeded Navy ... the duo went 5-2 against Patriot League foes.
HIGH SCHOOL: Five-star recruit out of Montgomery, Texas ... ranked third in the state of Texas ... awarded the Bronze Ball at the USTA Super Nationals Clay Courts in 2006 ... Sportsmanship Award at Zonals in 2008 ... named Player of the Day at USTA Super Nationals in 2009 ... coached by Nikolay Gantchev.
PERSONAL: Alexander Keith Van Velzer ... born Dec. 12, 1991, in Houston, Texas ... son of Don and Patricia Van Velzer ... brother, Donald (USMA '12), also was a member of the Army tennis team ... likes to work out, read and play basketball in his free time ... International Relations major.