Adrians Zguns Named ITA Region V Rookie of the
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Freshman Adrians Zguns has been named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Rookie of the Year for Region V as announced by the ITA’s website Monday morning. The award, nominated and voted on by the region’s coaches, honors the top first-year collegiate player within the region.
Zguns, a redshirt freshman from Liepaja, Latvia, compiled a 24-9 record during the 2002-03 season. In addition, his 24 wins are the second most ever by a freshman. Zguns finished the season two wins shy of the freshman wins record set by Tom Hamilton (1995). His 15-6 record during the spring speaks for itself, going 5-5 in the Southeastern Conference, which landed 11 of the league’s 12 teams in the NCAA Tournament.
Not to be overlooked, his fall play was excellent. He played his way to a 9-3 record, including bringing home the singles title at the 2002 Tulsa Hurricane Invitational. Zguns also advanced to the second round of the Icy Hot/ITA All-American. At the ITA Indoor Team Qualifier, Zguns picked up a win to seal a 4-3 victory for the Hogs and a finals berth where the Hogs downed Tulsa, 4-1.
A true grinder, Zguns was 8-4 in three-set matches, including three straight wins in triple-set contests. He faced stiff competition as he played seven ranked opponents to a 3-3 record with one match being suspended. He had wins over opponents who were ranked No. 71, No. 119 and No. 123 at the time of the match.
By winning the regional award, Zguns is now a candidate for the national rookie of the year award. Other candidate’s are Nate Emge, Penn State; Doug Stewart, Virginia; Janne Holmia, Florida; Rajeev Ram, Illinois; Robert Searle, Rice; Shannon Buck, Air Force; and K.C. Corkery, Stanford.
Arkansas, the only SEC school in Region V, joined four other league schools in having regional honors for its players and coaches:
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Ken Flach, Vanderbilt, Region III
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Micheal Hegarty, Florida, Region III
ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award: Romain Ambert, Mississippi State,
ITA/Farnsworth Senior Player of the Year: Alex Hartman, Mississippi, Region III
ITA Rookie of the Year: Janne Holmia, Florida, Region III; Adrians Zguns, Arkansas, Region V
ITA Player to Watch: Bobby Reynolds, Vanderbilt, Region III
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