FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Fresh off a trip to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, Arkansas tennis coach Robert Cox wasted no time in adding to his roster for next year with the addition to Eunsik “Michael” Jung.
Jung, named the South Florida Sun-Sentinel boy’s tennis player of the year, recently won the Florida high school overall state championship for Cardinal Gibbons High School. He claimed the Class 2A title with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Zach Ganger of Jacksonville Bolles and won the overall title with a 6-3, 6-1 decision over Jordan Mead of Mount Dora. He then teamed with Andy Cha to win the overall doubles title, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 over Mead and Matere Alban of Mount Dora.
“I think he is the equivalent of a top 50 U.S. junior,” Cox says. “He hasn’t been in the country long enough to qualify for a U.S. ranking, but his upside is phenomenal. I’ve seen him practice and watched him play. He is one of the most talented guys coming in as a freshman we’ve had in a while. He plays a nice attacking game, which I like, and I think it will be a great fit for him and for us. He’s coming to a program on the rise and will quickly become a fan favorite with his style of play.”
Jung is also already familiar with collegiate tennis. His brother, Joseph, played No. 3 at Alabama as a freshman this year and recorded a 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory over Arkansas’ Rohan Gajjar.
“He knows what collegiate tennis is all about,” Cox says. “He should come in a little ahead of a normal freshman. I’m really pleased and excited to add Michael to our team. I expect him to be one of our top six players. He’s also a great student. He’s on the honor roll and has close to a 4.0 grade point average.”
Jung, a native of South Korea, was 48-1 in singles and 24-2 in doubles in three years at Cardinal Gibbons for head coach Ed Sposa. Jung, the son of Jeyun and Jisuk Jung, also won district titles in both singles and doubles to advance to the Class 2A state tournament.
Cox and the Razorbacks lose one player off this year’s team in senior Nathan Price. Price was 31-13 at No. 1, and earned All-Southeastern Conference honors and played in the NCAA individual championships.
Jung joins a team that was 16-10, matched its highest win total of the last 13 years, earned an NCAA Tournament bid for the fourth straight season, won its first round NCAA match for the fifth time in its last six appearances, reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1986 and returns five of its top six singles players.