Pac-10 Men's Tennis All-Conference Awards Announced; Clayton Earns Player and Newcomer of the Year Awards
June 4, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - Three Cardinal men's tennis players were named to the Pac-10 All-Conference teams today, as announced by the Pac-10 today. Freshman Alex Clayton was awarded First Team honors, while junior Matt Bruch and sophomore Richard Wire were given honorable mention nods. Clayton also was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year and the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.
Bruch spent most of his time on the courts as the Cardinal's No. 2 singles player. Bruch had an overall record of 10-10, and four of those victories came over opponents that were ranked higher than him. His most notable victory was in a dual match with Baylor on February 13, when he bested then tenth-ranked Denes Lukacs 3-6, 6-4 1-0 (7). In doubles, Bruch also went 10-10 with three different partners. At the No. 1 doubles position, he and Muller pulled off two huge upsets against Arizona State's No. 53 T.J. Bellama and Matt Brooklyn, 8-4, on March 28, and Pepperdine's No. 24 Andre Begemann and Omar Altmann, 8-4, in the second round of the NCAA Championships. Bruch earned a final ranking of No. 87. This is Bruch's third All-Conference award, having earned Second Team honors in 2007 and First Team honors in 2006.
Wire was solid for Stanford all season, going 24-10 playing mostly at No. 3 singles. He also pitched in at No. 2 and No. 4 singles when needed. Wire took down three higher-ranked opponents over the year, defeating South Alabama's No. 68 Jack Baker at the ITA National Indoor Championship, 6-3, 6-3, Hawai'i's No. 25 Andreas Weber in a dual match, 6-3, 7-5, and Southern California's No. 53 Gary Sacks, also in a dual match, 3-6, 7-6, 1-0 (8). In doubles, he and partner Greg Hirshman occupied the No. 3 slot, amassing a 21-11 record. The reached the finals of the ITA Regional Championships in October, falling to teammate Muller and Ted Kelly in the final, 8-2. Wire's final singles ranking put him at No. 117. This is his first Pac-10 All-Conference Award.
Clayton, along with being named a First Team All-Conference member, added Pac-10 Player and Newcomer of the Year Awards to his already decorated rookie season, having been named the ITA West Region and National Rookie of the Year a few weeks back. Clayton, who was the No. 1 singles man for the Cardinal, finished the season with a final singles ranking of eighth, the highest ranking of any Pac-10 singles player, and compiled an outstanding 30-9 record on the year. He went 19-8 against nationally-ranked opponents and 17-6 in dual matches. After earning the eighth seed at the 2008 NCAA Singles Championships, he advanced to the semifinals where he fell to the eventual champion, top-ranked Somdev Devvarman of the University of Virginia.
All-Conference awards are determined by voting from all of the coaches from Pac-10 member teams.