Pac-12 announces men's tennis 2019 postseason honors
MEN’S SINGLES PLAYER OF THE YEAR: BRANDON HOLT, USC
MEN’S FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: YUTA KIKUCHI, CALIFORNIA
MEN’S DOUBLES TEAM OF THE YEAR: MAXIME CRESSY & KEEGAN SMITH, UCLA
MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR: CLANCY SHIELDS, ARIZONA
SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 Conference announced today the Pac-12 men’s tennis honors and All-Conference teams for the 2019 season, as determined by a polling of the Conference coaches. USC’s Brandon Holt is the Pac-12 Singles Player of the Year, California’s Yuta Kikuchi was voted Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and the duo of Maxime Cressy and Keegan Smith were tabbed the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year. Arizona’s head coach Clancy Shields was voted Pac-12 Coach of the Year in just his third year at the head of the program.
PAC-12 SINGLES PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Brandon Holt, Jr., USC (Rolling Hills, Calif.)
The No. 6 nationally ranked singles player in the nation, Holt led USC to its fourth Pac-12 Tournament title and the No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. USC’s top singles player, he holds a 19-6 record this season, 11 of those wins coming against ranked opponents, and is currently on a 10-match win streak with the Trojans heading into the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The three-time ITA All-American has been ranked in the top 21 the last eight weeks and in the top 12 the last five weeks. He earned the automatic qualifier and No. 6 seed in the NCAA singles bracket. Holt is the sixth student-athlete to win both Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer and Singles Player of the Year in their career, and only the second USC student-athlete to claim both honors (Yannick Hanfmann, 2011-15). The business major is the 11th Trojan to be honored with the Singles Player of the Year award.
PAC-12 FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Yuta Kikuchi, Fr., California (Yahaba, Japan)
Cal’s freshman Kikuchi took over the top singles spot for most of the season and compiling a 20-14 record. He helped Cal reach the super regionals in the NCAA team tournament with an upset over No. 15-seed Illinois in the second round last Saturday. He also led fourth-seeded Cal to an upset over top-seeded UCLA to reach the Golden Bears’ second finals appearance in the Pac-12 Men’s Tournament. Kikuchi received an at-large bid to compete in the NCAA doubles tournament with partner Jacob Brumm. The duo, ranked 28th in the nation, recorded major upsets this season, including a takedown of the 17th-ranked duo of Nathan Ponwith and Dominik Kellovsky from Arizona State at the Pac-12 Championships. In the fall, they upset then top-ranked doubles team of Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic from Mississippi State at the ITA Men's All-American Championships. He is the first Golden Bear to win the Freshman/Newcomer of the Year award since Campbell Johnson in 2013 and only the third Cal student-athlete all-time.
PAC-12 DOUBLES TEAM OF THE YEAR: Maxime Cressy, Sr., (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) and Keegan Smith, So., (San Diego, Calif.), UCLA
The 6-foot-7 duo of Cressy and Smith has yet to drop a match since first competing as a team in January. Playing exclusively at the top court, the pair is 16-0 overall and 10-0 against nationally-ranked opponents. In 10 of their 16 victories, the second-ranked doubles tandem in the nation has surrendered just three or fewer games. Cressy and Smith helped the Bruins clinch the No. 11 seed and move on to the super regionals round of the NCAA men’s team tournament. They also clinched the Conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA doubles tournament as the highest-ranked duo. The two California natives received at-large spots in the NCAA singles draw as well. They are the fourth-straight Bruins pair to win the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year award and the ninth in program history. Cressy is a mathematics/economics major and two-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection, while Smith studies history and was last year’s Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
PAC-12 COACH OF THE YEAR: Clancy Shields, Arizona
In his third year at the helm, Shields has guided Arizona’s program back into the national spotlight and earns his first Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor. The Wildcats (17-8, 3-5 Pac-12) earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010 after they recorded their highest number of team and Conference wins in a decade. Shield’s squad earned the sixth seed at the Pac-12 Championships, its highest seed in program history, and nearly edged out third-seeded Stanford in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats end their season at No. 29 in the ITA rankings, the team’s highest final ranking since 2010 and nearly 30 spots higher than their ranking last year at No. 58. Shields is the first Arizona coach to earn the award since Tad Berkowitz in 2009 and only the third Wildcat coach all-time.
2019 ALL-PAC-12 TEAM
|Maxime Cressy||UCLA||Sr.||Hermosa Beach, Calif.|
|Daniel Cukierman||USC||So.||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|Axel Geller||Stanford||So.||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Brandon Holt||USC||Jr.||Rolling Hills, Calif.|
|Thomas Laurent||Oregon||Sr.||Montpellier, France|
|Keegan Smith||UCLA||So.||San Diego, Calif.|
|Yuta Kikuchi||California||Fr.||Yahaba, Japan|
|Dan Little||Utah||Sr.||London, England|
|Govind Nanda||UCLA||Fr.||Redlands, Calif.|
|Nathan Ponwith||Arizona State||Jr.||Scottsdale, Ariz.|
|Alexandre Rotsaert||Stanford||Fr.||Boca Raton, Fla.|
|Laurens Verboven||USC||Sr.||Overpelt, Belgium|
|Jonas Ziverts||Arizona||Fr.||Solna, Sweden|
HONORABLE MENTION: Will Genesen, STAN; Dominik Kellovsky, ASU; Filip Malbasic, ARIZ; David Micevski, UTAH; Tanner Smith, USC; Enzo Sommer, WASH.