Posted: Jun 11, 2012 5:04 PM
Updated: Jun 11, 2012 5:04 PM
Three University of Kentucky men's tennis stars, including seniors Eric Quigley and Alex Musialek, along with sophomore Panav Jha, have been named Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Americans due to their impressive seasons in singles and doubles, the association recently announced. Quigley and Musialek were named All-Americans in singles, while Quigley and Jha earned the status in doubles.
"These are very deserving honors for Eric, Alex and Panav," UK head coach Dennis Emery said. "All three of these players worked really hard this year to improve their games and help our team. I think this ties the most All-Americans we have had in one season, which really speaks to the growth of our program."
A player receives All-America status in singles if they meet one of the following criteria: earn a top-16 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship, or reach the NCAA Singles Championship round of 16, or finish in the top 20 of the final ITA rankings. A player receives All-America status in doubles if they meet one of the following criteria: earn a top eight seed in NCAA Doubles Championships, or reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship, or finish in the top 10 of the final ITA rankings.
Quigley and Musialek met all three of the singles requirements, while Quigley and Jha met all three of the doubles requirements.
Quigley is now a five-time All-American, earning three singles honors and two doubles honors. Quigley is the second five-time All-American in school history, joining Jesse Witten, who was a four-time singles All-American and a doubles All-American in 2005. This is the first All-American honor for both Musialek and Jha, who become the 18th and 19th players in school history to earn the distinction. This is only the second time in school history that three players have earned All-America honors in the same season, matching 1988 when Richard Benson, Greg Van Emburgh and Mario Rincon each earned the honors.
Quigley had a fantastic senior season for Kentucky, posting a 54-8 record in singles action, including a 26-2 mark in dual matches. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., concluded his career in style by earning a runner-up finish at the 2012 NCAA Singles Championship, becoming only the third player in school history to advance to the singles final. Quigley's win total in 2012 was the highest in school history while he ends his UK career with a 172-47 record to become the winnningest singles player in school history. Quigley, who won 38 matches against ranked foes in 2011-12, earned countless awards this season, including Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and the ITA Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award.
Musialek saved his best season for last after advancing to the NCAA Singles Sweet 16 for the first time in his career. The native of Dax, France, ended his senior season 30-12 overall with a 14-6 mark in dual matches. For his career, Musialek is 108-49 becoming only the 14th player in school history to win 100 or more matches at Kentucky. The star's 108 wins is tied for ninth all time in singles wins in UK history. Musialek earned several awards this season, including being named a first team All-SEC selection. Musialek defeated 15 ranked foes this season.
Jha had a strong first season with Kentucky, contributing mostly in doubles but also earning 17 singles wins along the way. The native of Pointe Claire, Montreal, earned two wins over ranked foes during the year, including defeating Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee, who finished the season ranked 34th. Jha's highest ranking of the season was 85th. Jha earned first team All-SEC honors this season due to his strong play in doubles with Quigley.
Quigley and Jha earned a bid into the NCAA Doubles Championship, where they would advance to the quarterfinals. The UK stars became the first UK duo since 2010 to advance to the quarterfinals of the doubles event, matching the effort of Quigley and former All-American Brad Cox who went to the quarterfinals that year. The duo finished 22-13 overall with 13 wins over ranked foes.
Kentucky had a strong season as a team, finishing seventh overall in the final rankings after appearing in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the third consecutive season. The No. 7 ranking for Kentucky was the highest final ranking since the 1997 season, and the third best in school history.