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Tennis Staff
 Matthew Nielsen
Matthew Nielsen is in his second year as head coach of both the men’s and women’s varsity tennis teams at the University of Rochester. He was named to the position on September 1, 2008 after serving as an assistant coach for both teams for five years. Nielsen is a 2001 graduate of Penn State University with a baccalaureate degree in Kinesiology. He is a native of the Rochester area, growing up in Lima, NY, and has been playing competitive tennis for the past 18 years. 

Both teams have found themselves ranked highly among the competitive Northeast Region practically every season since Nielsen has been on the staff. The squads have been nationally ranked on a number of occasions as well. Belonging to arguably the most difficult conference in Division III tennis, the Yellowjackets perennially play the toughest competition from all across the country. Coach Nielsen has helped the two squads produce eight ITA All-Americans since the 2003-2004 season.

During his first year as the lead of the programs, the men finished with an 11-11 record, while the women finished 13-8.  The men started the season with a 3rd place finish at the 2008 Flower City Tournament, defeating two regionally ranked teams (#20 Ithaca and #17 St. Lawrence), while only falling to #10 Skidmore College.  The team finished 7th in the UAA Championships, experiencing its first UAA win in three years by defeating Brandeis 5-3.  Four Yellowjackets were named UAA All-Academic Honorees.  Lia Weiner captured the Wilson/ITA Northeast Regional Championships in singles, advancing to the ITA Small College Championships in Mobile, Alabama and earning All-American status for the 2008-2009 season.  They ended the season by defeating UAA rival Case Western Reserve 9-0 at the UAA Championships in Boston.  They earned a final ranking of #17 in the Northeast Region, while Lia Weiner was ranked as the #16 singles player in the region.  The women also produced four UAA All-Academic Honorees.

Coach Nielsen is a very accomplished tennis player in his own right. During his junior tennis career he was nationally ranked in the 14's, 16's, and 18's age groups, achieving the ranking of number 44 in the United States. He attended Penn State University where he was a four-year starter on the varsity tennis team, playing #2 singles and #1 doubles his senior year. Honors received while at Penn State include the Academic All Big-Ten Award, Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Award, and the Penn State Tennis Senior Achievement Leadership Award. He has won numerous Rochester District Championships in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles over the past decade. In the summer of 2008, he reached the finals of the Open Singles and won the Open Doubles.

Nielsen has worked as a tennis professional at Mid-town Athletic Club since January 2002. He also served as the head tennis professional at Irondequoit Country Club in the Summer of 2002 and 2003. Coach Nielsen holds a Professional Level 1 certification from the USPTA and recently completed an MBA program from the University’s Simon School of Business Administration in the spring of 2008.

Achievements Under Coach Nielsen:
ITA All-Academic Team Award (2009)

ITA Scholar-Athlete Award
Daniel Barbash (2009)
Brian Bowman (2009)
Patrick Sheehan (2009)
Matthew Volkov (2009)
Jeff Zink (2009)

UAA All-Academic Honorees
Daniel Barbash (2009)
Brian Bowman (2009)
Patrick Sheehan (2009)
Jeff Zink (2009)