April 28, 2011
Greensboro, N.C. – Georgia Tech’s Guillermo Gomez has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Year by a vote of the conference coaches, and his teammates Kevin King and Juan Spir have been named to the All-ACC team, commissioner John Swofford announced Thursday.
Gomez, a senior from Alicante, Spain, who is Georgia Tech’s all-time singles victory leader with a 116-37 record, becomes the third Yellow Jacket to be named conference player of the year, joining Jens Skjoedt in 1990 and Benjamin Cassaigne in 1999. He made the All-ACC team for the fourth time.
“It’s an awesome accomplishment, and I’m really excited about it,” said Gomez. “It’s something that I didn’t expect. Having so many good players in the ACC makes it an unbelievable honor for me.”
King, a junior from Peachtree City, Ga., made the all-conference team for the second straight year, while Spir, a sophomore from Medellin, Colombia, is a first-time honoree.
Gomez, No. 15 in the nation in this week’s ITA collegiate singles rankings, is 31-7 overall this year in singles, and has teamed with Dean O’Brien to post a 21-6 doubles record. Playing all but two of his matches at first singles, Gomez is 20-3 in dual matches, and 10-1 in conference play, going undefeated until the last regular season match of the spring. He and O’Brien have been formidable at No. 3 doubles, going 19-3 in dual matches and 9-2 in conference competition.
He passed his head coach, Kenny Thorne, for the Tech career singles mark the weekend of April 8-10, defeating 6th-ranked Henrique Cunha of Duke to tie the mark (victory No. 112), and passed it by beating 38th-ranked Jose Hernandez of North Carolina.
“Guillermo had an incredible year in the ACC,” said Thorne. “Being 10-1 at number one singles is simply awesome. We have many of the best players in the nation in the ACC this year so it is an incredible honor for him to be selected as ACC player of the year. He is a senior and that carries weight but it also means everyone knows your game and knows how they want to play you. He has had a target on him probably since his freshman year and he has handled it well. His competitive nature comes out in every match. He shows up every match and battles. He is well deserving of this honor and should be very proud of it based on the talent level in the ACC. I truly respect the players the coaches continue to bring into the ACC. I am proud of Guillermo for this well deserved award.”
King and Spir have been a stalwart doubles team at No. 1 for the Yellow Jackets, earning a national ranking of No. 15 while posting a 13-6 record in dual matches and a 28-10 mark overall. They had risen as high as No. 8 in the fall after going 15-4 and winning the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional and reaching the semifinals of the USTA/ITA Indoor Championships.
In singles, King has done 17-4 un dual matches, 7-3 in the ACC after beginning the spring at No. 4 singles and moving up to No. 3 for conference play. Spir has gone 11-7 in dual matches, playing all but one match at No. 2 before an injury sidelined him for the final weekend of the regular season and the ACC Tournament.
“Kevin did a great job coming off an injury over last summer and getting in shape for the season,” said Thorne. “He had a great ACC season in singles and doubles. He continued to improve all season and his record shows it. He brings and incredible work ethic to our team and we are excited that he will be back next year helping lead this team.
“Juan improved a ton from last season and made his push into the top tier of players in the ACC. He and Kevin did a good job in doubles to establish themselves as one of the best teams in the nation. I am proud of the way Juan has developed and look forward to seeing his improvement in the future.
“Having three All-ACC players is a tribute to what these guys did all year. The ACC is one of the toughest conferences in the nation. I think we could have even had other guys on our team that were probably close in the voting so I’m proud of our entire team.”
Top-ranked and undefeated Virginia placed a conference-high five players on the All-ACC team, including four-time selection Sanam Singh and three-time selection Michael Shabaz. Georgia Tech and North Carolina each had three players voted to the team.
2011 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Team
Akash Muppidi, Junior, Boston College*
Reid Carleton, Senior, Duke**
Hernrique Cunha, Sophomore, Duke*
Vahid Mirzadeh, Senior, Florida State*
Guillermo Gomez, Senior, Georgia Tech***
Kevin King, Junior, Georgia Tech*
Juan Spir, Sophomore, Georgia Tech
Brennan Boyajian, Junior, North Carolina
Stefan Hardy, Senior, North Carolina
Jose Hernandez, Sophomore, North Carolina*
Jaime Pulgar, Junior, NC State*
Drew Courtney, Junior, Virginia*
Alex Domijan, Freshman, Virginia
Jarmere Jenkins, Sophomore, Virginia*
Michael Shabaz, Senior, Virginia**
Sanam Singh, Senior Virginia***
Luka Somen, Junior, Virginia Tech*
Jonathan Wolff, Senior, Wake Forest
ACC Player of the Year – Guillermo Gomez, Georgia Tech
ACC Freshman of the Year – Alex Domijan, Virginia
ACC Coach of the Year – Brian Boland, Virginia
* – Repeat All-ACC Selections
** – Three-time honoree
*** – Four-time honoree