WINTHROP, Mass. – Eastern Nazarene College has been accepted into the Great Northeast Athletic Conference as an associate member in both men's and women's tennis, as announced by GNAC Commissioner Joe Walsh on Wednesday. The Lions' programs will begin competing in the GNAC during the 2018-19 academic year.
"Eastern Nazarene adds talented tennis programs that are centrally located to our GNAC schools and thus improves the student-athlete experience," said Commissioner Walsh. "It also helps with student-athlete success by minimizing missed class time."
Located in Quincy, Mass., Eastern Nazarene's tennis facility features five courts on campus, which were repainted in 2013 and reconstructed in 1995.
"The opportunity to join the GNAC for tennis is an exciting extension of the long-standing relationships that our programs have with schools in the GNAC," said Eastern Nazarene Athletic Director Dr. Brad Zarges, currently in his third year with the institution. "To continue competition at such a high level is an excellent match for both of our teams. We look forward to partnering with members of the GNAC to provide the type of student-athlete experience we all desire."
Regis (Mass.) joined the GNAC as a full member in 2017-18 and Colby-Sawyer College readies to join as a full member in 2018-19. With both institutions sponsoring tennis, the addition of Eastern Nazarene only helps to further strengthen the league competitively in the two sports.
The Eastern Nazarene men advanced to the 2017 CCC Championship, while the Lions women reached this year's CCC Semifinals.
"I am grateful for the many wonderful years in the CCC and I'm very excited for this new chapter," said Eastern Nazarene head men's tennis coach Cristian Popa about the move. "I look forward to new and some old rivalries in the GNAC."
GNAC men's tennis associate member institutions Ramapo College, Rutgers University-Camden and Rutgers University-Newark will compete in the league through the 2018-19 academic year.