(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah -- No. 109 Patrick Kawka received Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year honors Wednesday, one of five players from the No. 36 BYU men’s tennis team to receive conference honors for this season’s performance.
“I’m delighted for those individuals who won these honors,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “I think it’s well deserved. All the players that received all-conference awards have been extremely solid from the beginning of the year through the regular season. I’m delighted that they’ve received the recognition and grateful to my fellow Mountain West Conference coaches for recognizing the special year they’ve all had. I’d also like to congratulate all the other players from other teams who were selected. They were equally deserving.”
Three singles players and one doubles duo were named to the All-MWC Teams after BYU’s 19-5 season and 6-0 conference run. Saturday, the Cougars secured their second straight title of MWC Regular Season Champions after defeating rival Utah in the Deseret First Duel. The achievement earned the team a bye to the semifinals of the conference tournament
Kawka, a Las Vegas native, has been ranked as high as No. 88 in the nation this season and has earned a 29-9 singles record with a 6-0 conference record. With Evan Urbina, Kawka achieved a 21-11 doubles record. In fall tournament play, the duo reached the Mountain Region doubles final, competing against teammates Spencer Smith and Thomas Shubert.
Junior Georgy Batrakov, sophomore Smith of Salt Lake City and senior Urbina were named to the singles team and duo Batrakov and Shubert were named to the doubles team.
Batrakov ended regular season with a 20-3 singles record, including a 17-0 winning streak that ran from Jan. 28 to April 19. Batrakov played at the No. 2 position in singles for most of the season and received three MWC Player of the Week awards.
Smith finished with a 22-6 singles record, after going undefeated for 14 matches straight. The sophomore played at the No. 3 position most of the season.
At No. 1, team captain Urbina achieved a 29-12 record, including a win against TCU’s Emanuel Brighiu, currently No. 72 in the nation. Urbina ranked as high as No. 110 during the season and earned two MWC Player of the Week awards. This season’s accolade marked Urbina’s third time being named to the All-MWC Singles Team.
Batrakov and Shubert went 5-1 in conference play with a 13-2 overall record. Ranked as high as No. 80 nationally, the duo was undefeated for almost two months at the beginning of the season and defeated No. 57 Phil Anderson and Jadon Phillips of New Mexico. This award was Shubert’s second time being named to the All-MWC Doubles Team. In 2010, Shubert received the honors with doubles partner Cassidy Mears.
The Cougars await their semifinal match Friday against the winner of the quarterfinal match between UNLV and San Diego State in Fort Collins, Colo.