Salt Lake City, UT – At their annual team banquet this past week, the University of Utah men’s tennis team gathered together with close friends and family to announce the 2015/2016 season team awards. They also reflected on their successful 2016 campaign.
“I can’t believe how fast this season has gone by,” said 2nd year head coach Roeland Brateanu.” It has been a solid season in which we set some school records and made some tremendous steps in the right direction. It’s always a special moment to spend time with those people closest to us to look back at the season to thank and honor them.”
Freshman David Micevski was named the team’s Most Valuable Player after an astounding freshman season with the Utes. Micevski earned an impressive 17-5 record player at No. 2 & 3 singles this spring, with notable wins over #85 Wilczynski (Stanford), #124 Bergevi (Cal), Sommer (Washington – twice), Cozbinov (UNLV) and Goryachkov (BYU).
“David has done a fantastic job for us this year,” said Brateanu. “Within four months of being on the team he has improved tremendously and left his mark on the team. I look forward to working with David for years to come. The sky is the limit for him.”
Most Improved Player:
In a team full of players that made progress, one player raised some eyebrows this year; Matt Cowley. The senior from Salt Lake City, Utah, has had one of the most successful turn around seasons in recent memory. Matt had a 12-19 record at No. 3 & 4 singles in 2015. In 2016, Cowley had a 24-15 record at the No. 1 singles position. Cowley went 20-7 at the No. 1 doubles position, partnering with multiple teammates. In his final year at the U, Cowley reached the semifinals of the Regional Championships in Albuquerque, NM in October, and has a very solid resume with victories over Naoki Takeda (Arizona), Toby Mitchell (Boise State), Hayden Sabatka (New Mexico), David Fox (Denver) and led against McKenzie McDonald (UCLA) and Daan Maasland (Oregon) when the matches were called.
During his time at the U, Cowley has been nationally ranked with three different doubles partners.
“I think Matt is one of the most improved players in the country,” said Brateanu. “He will be greatly missed next year.”
Mr. Reliable Award:
Even though he redshirted in his first year as a Ute, Azat Hankuliyev was named the team’s most reliable student-athlete.
“Azat has done a tremendous job this for us and set the bar very high for incoming freshmen,” said Brateanu. As a coaching staff we never had to worry whether or not Azat was going to take care of business.”
Academic Achievement Award:
Also in his first year with the Utes and this year’s best student is Egbert Weverink. The dutchman posted an impressive 3.88 GPA and was accepted into the competitive Business Scholar Program at the Eccles School of Business. Weverink will join his fellow scholars for a month long study abroad in Rome, Italy this summer.
“Besides being a great athlete, Eggy is a very intelligent and hard working young man. He is a great example for his fellow teammates,” said Brateanu.
Most Inspirational Player:
Jamey Swiggart transferred to the U after two successful seasons at Idaho State. During his time at Utah, he worked his way into the starting line up and became a tremendous team leader. Swiggart was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), was named the team’s Vice-Captain and won over the hearts of his teammates.
“Jamey has everything you want from a student-athlete; he has a tremendous heart, has a great work ethic, great communication skills and he is unbelievably coachable,” stated Brateanu. “Whatever adversity Swiggy faced, he always grabbed the bull by the horns and fought like crazy.”