WINSTON SALEM, N.C. — No. 18 Jose Salazar earned All-America honors for the second straight year Thursday when he advanced to the singles round of 16 at the NCAA Championships.
The Arkansas Razorbacks senior scored a 6-1, 7-5 victory against No. 54 Billy Griffith of California at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex. With the win, Salazar bettered his singles record this season to 26-10 overall and 11-5 against nationally ranked opponents.
“It was a tough match, and I knew there was a lot of pressure because I was one win away from becoming an All-American for the second time in my career,” Salazar said. “My opponent and I had a similar style of play, so I knew it would be a mental challenge to remain on top.”
Up next for Salazar is a Friday showdown with No. 16 Timo Stodder of Tennessee at 10 a.m. CT.
To earn All-America status in singles, the student-athlete must be a top 16 seed at the NCAA Championships, reach the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships, or finish in the top 20 of the ITA’s national rankings.
“It’s an honor to become an All-American, an achievement made possible by the work and effort of my coaches (Andy) Jackson and (Nestor) Briceno, who’ve helped improve my game over the past three years,” Salazar said.
Last season, Salazar earned All-America status in doubles. He and Mike Redlicki finished as the No. 10 doubles duo in the country with a 14-9 overall record. They advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Championships, where they fell to the eventual national champions.
Following Salazar’s singles match Thursday, Razorbacks Oscar Mesquida and Adam Sanjurjo fell to Christian Langmo and Adria Soriano Barrera of Miami (FL) 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of doubles competition.