FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas sophomores Blake Strode and Brian Yanulis were honored by the Southeastern Conference, it was announced by the league office Wednesday morning.
Strode was named to the first-team All-Southeastern Conference tennis team and Yanulis was named to the 2007 Community Service Tennis Team.
Strode, a native of St. Louis, Mo., earned his second consecutive All-SEC accolade after being named to the second-team following his freshman season in 2006. He becomes the second Razorback in two years to earn consecutive all-conference honors. Matt Roberts was named All-SEC in 2005 and 2006. Strode is also just the seventh Hog in school history to receive multiple All-SEC honors, and the first to do so in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Strode is ranked 43rd in the latest FILA/ITA rankings. He is 26-10 heading into this weekend’s SEC Tennis Championships and has played strictly at No. 1 singles for the Razorbacks this spring, sporting a 17-7 dual-match record and a 7-4 mark in SEC play. Strode is 9-6 against ranked opponents and finished the regular season with six straight wins, the last five coming against ranked foes. Against the top 50, he has posted a record 5-4.
Strode, who won 27 matches in 2006, will have a chance to match that win total Thursday when he leads the Razorbacks against 25th-ranked Tennessee in the opening round of the 2007 SEC Tennis Championships at 5 p.m., at the W.T. “Dub” Robinson Tennis Center, in Baton Rouge, La.
Through two seasons, Strode has a winning percentage of .757 (53-17), which currently is second in school history behind only Ron Hightower’s .880 clip (117-16) from 1977-80.
Yanulis, a native of The Woodlands, Texas, was named to the SEC’s Community Service Team. Yanulis is a member of the Book Hogs reading program. He also volunteers at a local elementary school to read and socialize with the children.
The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams in all 20 sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight athletes from the SEC who give back to their community in superior service efforts.