Gauchos Net Several Big West Awards, Including Coach and Freshman of the Year
May 1, 2007
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Just two days after winning its fifth Big West Conference Tournament championship, the UCSB men's tennis team garnered several league accolades Tuesday, highlighted by Marty Davis being named Co-Coach of the Year and Philip Therp taking the Freshman of the Year award. The Gauchos are heading to the NCAA Tournament and will play at USC on May 11.
Davis repeated as Coach of the Year, earning the distinction for the fourth time in his career. Under difficult circumstances brought about by a rash of injuries to several top players, Davis still managed to lead UCSB to its second straight Big West Tournament championship and fourth title during his eight-year tenure. The Gauchos are making their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance under Davis by virtue of earning the league's automatic bid as Big West Tournament champion.
Davis shares this year's award with UC Riverside's York Strother.
Therp became the second consecutive Gaucho to earn top freshman honors, following in the footsteps of teammate Bijan Hejazi. Therp finished 6-4 at No. 3 singles for the year. He missed 10 matches earlier this season due to a left wrist injury. After six weeks on the sideline, Therp returned to the court and promptly won Big West Athlete of the Week honors on Mar. 29. Normally a two-handed player, he was cleared to play with one hand the remainder of the season and went 4-3 under those conditions.
Junior Anders Dalskov and Hejazi, a sophomore, were named to the All-Big West First Team in singles. Dalskov was also selected to the first team in doubles for the second straight year. In 2006, he was a second team pick in singles. Hejazi is making his second appearance on the first team for singles play.
Joining Dalskov on the All-Big West First Team for doubles was sophomore Grant Robertson.
Therp, along with junior Jack Hui, picked up All-Big West Second Team honors for singles, while sophomore Nigel Barton and freshman Josh Finkelstein were named to the conference's second team in doubles. Finkelstein rounded out UCSB's selections as he earned Honorable Mention in singles.
Pacific's Moritz Starke was named the Big West Player of the Year after posting a 14-6 dual match record at No. 1 singles. Starke became the third Tiger in the past four years to be named the league's top player.
UCSB (6-18) will play at USC (20-2) on May 11 in the first round of the NCAA Division I Championships. The match will be contested at Marks Stadium and is tentatively scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.