UCLA's Kohlloeffel Named Pac-10 Player of the Year
May 16, 2007
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - In a vote by the Conference coaches, UCLA senior Benjamin Kohlloeffel has been named the Pac-10 Men's Tennis Player of the Year, as well as half of the Doubles Team of the Year along with his partner, senior Philipp Gruendler. ARIZONA STATE freshman Matt Brooklyn has been awarded Freshman/Newcomer of the Year, and USC's Peter Smith earns the Coach of the Year distinction.
Kohlloeffel, a native of Herne, Germany, became UCLA's career singles wins leader earlier this seaosn in just three seasons of play. Kohlloeffel is the defending NCAA Singles Champion and is seeded fourth in this year's NCAA draw. Kohlloeffel capped off the final Pac-10 dual of his career with the deciding singles point in a 4-3 Bruin win over No. 9 USC that secured UCLA's fourth-straight Pac-10 Championship. Kohlloeffel was named Pac-10 Player of the Week a record five times this season. He has posted a 31-3 record thus far, and has gone 23-1 in dual matches, and 7-0 in Pac-10 duals. With his No. 4 seed, Kohlloeffel has assured himself of his third All-American honor in as many years. He is the first Bruin to win the award since Tobias Clemens and Marcin Matkowski tied for the honor in 2003.
Kohlloeffel and Gruendler, a native of Weil Am Rhein, Germany, earn the top doubles distinction for the second year in a row, the first ever tandem to take two straight. The German pair have compiled a 26-2 overall record this year, and are currently ranked 14th in the ITA Rankings. They are one of just two Pac-10 teams to earn a spot in the NCAA Doubles Championships. Kohlloeffel and Gruendler won their first 20 matches of the season.
Brooklyn, a native of Hillingdon, England, becomes the first Sun Devil to be named Freshman of the Year since the award's inception in 2000. Brooklyn stepped right in to the top of Arizona State's lineup this season, playing at No. 1 or No. 2 in every dual match, and posting a 14-7 dual record, 26-11 overall. Brooklyn was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on April 2, the only freshman to win the award all season. Brooklyn also played No. 1 doubles for the Sun Devils in every dual match, teaming with Wes Miller to go 11-9.
USC's Smith led the Trojans to one of the biggest turnarounds in the nation this year. Following an 8-14 season and 1-6 Pac-10 record a year ago, Smith returned the Trojans to the NCAA Tournament, where they are still alive in the Round of 16, to be played this Thursday, May 17. USC reversed its 2006 Pac-10 record, going 6-1 this season and is currently 22-2 overall. The Trojans were mere points away from a Pac-10 title, losing 4-3 to UCLA in the final match of the regular season when both teams came in undefeated in the league. Under Smith's guidance, USC's Jamil Al-Agba and Dejan Cvetkovic each earned berths in this year's NCAA Singles Championships. This is the second Coach of the Year distinction for Smith, who also won in 2004.
2007 Pac-10 Men's Tennis All-Conference
Matt Brooklyn, Fr., ASU
Matt Bruch, So., STAN
Claudio Christen, Jr., ARIZ
Dejan Cvetkovic, Sr., USC
Chris Surapol, Sr., UCLA
Kaes Van't Hof, Jr., USC
Richard Wire, Fr., STAN
Tyler Browne, Sr., CAL
Robert Farah, Fr., USC
Philipp Gruendler, Sr., UCLA
Pac-10 Player of the Year
Benjamin Kohlloeffel, Sr., UCLA
Pac-10 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year
Matt Brooklyn, Fr., ASU
Pac-10 Coach of the Year
Peter Smith, USC