Junior Sebastian Gallego earned his second straight Most Valuable Player award and freshman Brendan Ruddock won three individual awards at the recent University of Minnesota men's tennis awards banquet.
Gallego became the seventh player in school history to win back-to-back Phil Brain MVP awards and the first since Raoul Schwark in 2006 and 2007. Ruddock captured the Jerry Noyce Most Improved Player Award, Team Spirit Award and Bob McNamara Unsung Hero Award. Sophomore Julian Dehn won the Len Bailey Grit and Determination Award.
Gallego, a Medellin, Colombia native, went 19-10 in singles and 5-4 in Big Ten singles play. He is currently ranked 68th in the country and is the eighth alternate for the NCAA singles championship. Gallego was an all-Big Ten selection and played nearly the entire spring season at both No. 1 singles and doubles, while finishing 5-7 against ranked opponents. In doubles, Gallego went 12-13 for the season.
Ruddock, a Ronkonkoma, N.Y. native, went 15-12 in singles play this season. He played 13 three-set matches during the season, including nine of his 14 dual matches. The Gophers went 8-0 in duals when Ruddock won his match and 0-6 when he lost. He won tiebreakers in the second and third sets in the deciding match against Indiana to give the Gophers a pivotal win over the Hoosiers on April 11.
Dehn, a Traben-Trabach, Germany native, was a key doubles player for the Gophers this season with a 16-14 record in doubles. He went 9-7 with Dino Bilankov, including a 5-4 record in Big Ten play. Dehn posted a 7-9 singles record this season.
The Gophers are 13-10 overall and will take part in the NCAA regional tournament this weekend in Austin, Texas. Minnesota meets Arizona on Friday at 10 a.m. in the opening round.