Conor Niland Selected Farnsworth/ITA Senior Player of the Year
May 12, 2006
BERKELEY - California senior men's tennis player Conor Niland has been named the west region's Farnsworth/ITA Senior Player of the Year, announced Friday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Niland, currently ranked sixth by the ITA, enters postseason play with a 22-2 dual record. The three-time Pac-10 Player of the Week honoree went undefeated at home this season. In his last home match then-third-ranked Niland extended his winning streak to 19, which was the best in the country.
Niland suffered his first dual-match loss to Washington's Alex Slovic in two sets, 7-5, 6-1 on April 26. Niland bounced back advancing to the semifinals of the Pac-10 tournament, when he lost to the eventual Pac-10 singles champion Matt Bruch of Stanford.
The Limerick, Ireland, native picked up his biggest win over UCLA's top-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel in two sets, 6-4, 6-3, on April 8. It was the second time in 2006 he recorded an upset over Kohlloeffel. Niland defeated then-No. 3 Kohlloeffel in two sets, 6-3, 6-2, on Feb. 2, in Berkeley. Niland also notched major wins over top opponents including fourth-ranked Lars Poerschke of Baylor, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, and then-No. 11 Niland defeated No. 4 Scott Doerner of Pepperdine in two sets, 6-4, 6-3.
Niland earned a sixth seed in the NCAA Singles Championships that will be held during May 24-29 at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, following the team championships on May 20-23.
Earlier in the week Niland was named Pac-10 Player of the Year, giving the Golden Bears a 2006 sweep of those honors, with Cal's Zsuzsanna Fodor selected for the women. The award is Cal's second in school history. The only other Cal player to earn the award was Randy Nixon in 1983.
Niland will compete with the Bears in the NCAA Team Championships, which begin on Saturday, May 13, at 9 a.m. (PDT) with their first-round match against Santa Barbara at the Taube Tennis Center.
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