BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — One of the winningest duos in the Southeastern Conference was honored Thursday, as juniors Mike Redlicki and Jose Salazar of the No. 19 Arkansas men’s tennis team earned All-SEC recognition. Postseason honors are voted on by the league’s 13 coaches.
Together, Redlicki and Salazar combined for a 29-11 record in dual matches with a 16-7 mark in SEC competition. Against ranked opponents, the two Razorbacks were 16-8, grabbing 16 of the team’s 19 wins. Along with teammate Giammarco Micolani, they were two of the 16 SEC players with eight-plus conference singles wins.
“We are extremely proud of Mike and Jose being named to the All-SEC First and Second Teams. All-SEC is something you earn and something that lasts a lifetime,” head coach Andy Jackson said.
Redlicki is the eighth first-teamer in program history, and the first since Blake Strode in 2009. In the Oracle/ITA Rankings as of April 26, the Chicago native sits at No. 23 in both singles and doubles, with partner Micolani. He is the fourth-highest ranked singles player in the SEC, while the Redlicki-Micolani duo ranks eighth among SEC pairs.
Redlicki also earned SEC Player of the Week two times in a three-week span this season (March 2 and March 16). Spanning 28 days from Feb. 24 to March 13, Redlicki put together a seven-match win streak. The victory that capped the streak was the match-clincher in a 5-2 team win vs. LSU on March 13.
After transferring from Duke for the fall semester, Redlicki enlisted in graduate classes at the Sam M. Walton College of Business and found himself comfortable in his new environment. By the time dual matches in the spring came around, Jackson felt confident penciling him in at the top spots in both the singles and doubles lineups.
“For me, no one in the NCAA is more valuable to his team than Mike,” Jackson said. “His on-court singles and doubles contributions have been massive, and his ability to raise the level of our whole team by his commitment to a team-first mindset has been a real joy for us.”
Salazar, meanwhile, is the 13th second-teamer in program history, and the first since Christ Nott in 2011. The Tenerife, Spain, native currently sits at a season-high No. 70 in the Oracle/ITA Rankings and has won six of his last eight decisions.
After transferring from Oklahoma for the fall semester, Salazar amassed a team-high 17-4 record in fall tournament play. He would later carry that momentum over to the spring, leading Arkansas with a 15-6 mark in dual match singles play, making his season-long total a team-best 32-10 (.762).
“Jose came into the year with the desire to show he can play at the top level of college tennis, and he has improved each segment of this season,” Jackson said. “It’s now obvious he’s among the top players in the SEC and we are very proud and happy for him.”
For the other notable SEC awards: Florida’s Diego Hidalgo was named Player of the Year, Kentucky’s Ryotara Matsumara and Florida’s Alfredo Perez were named Co-Freshmen of the Year, Mississippi State’s Rishab Agarwal earned Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Florida’s Bryan Shelton was named Coach of the Year.
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