May 17, 2013
On Thursday, May 4, the Minnesota men’s tennis team passed out team awards during the annual year-end banquet. Six different members of the team received individual recognition at the event.
For the second year in a row, Rok Bonin (Koper, Slovenia) received the Phil Brain Memorial Award which is given to the squad’s Most Valuable Player. Ranked as high as No. 36 in the nation during the year, Bonin has led the team all season while playing mostly at the No. 1 singles position. He has worked for a 25-12 overall record, including a 9-2 conference mark to help the Gophers finish second in the Big Ten regular season standings. For his efforts he received a unanimous All-Big Ten First Team selection. Bonin will represent the Golden Gophers at the NCAA Singles Championship, which is set to begin on May 22 in Urbana, Ill.
Leandro Toledo, a native of Hamburg, Germany, took home the Len Bailey Award. Presented to the player who best exemplifies grit, determination, and team spirit, the award is also the second consecutive for the sophomore. One of the team’s most intense players, Toledo battled through the season to mark a 25-11 record in singles action. He also made up half of Minnesota’s most dominant doubles pairings, capturing an 11-5 record with teammate Eric Frueh.
A Bogota, Colombia native, Juan Pablo Ramirez picked up the Jerry Noyce/Nike Award. Ramirez went 6-5 in fall tournaments and 10-11 in dual match action for an overall collective of 16-16 on the year. In doubles, he partnered with Bonin and gathered a 9-8 mark from the second position.
Sophomore Mathieu Froment, from Longwy, France, collected the Bob McNamara Unsung Player of the Year Award. Froment played most of the season at No. 4 singles where he marked a 6-8 tally. He also filled in at No. 3 for a portion of the schedule and gathered a 5-4 rate of success.
The Minnesota Gophers Team Spirit Award was presented to sophomore Jack Hamburg. After sitting out the fall slate to recover from an injury, Hamburg took to the court in the spring and collected a 10-14 overall, 5-6 Big Ten record. He worked his way up the singles rankings to play as high as No. 3, while also consistently performing as part of the team’s top doubles duo. Earlier this month, Hamburg picked up Minnesota’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
The Louis Ratner Memorial Award, given to the person that makes an outstanding contribution to Gopher Tennis, was handed out to Mikey Kantar. In his fifth year as a volunteer assistant coach for the Golden Gophers, Kantar was instrumental in the team’s 14-11 season culminating in a second-place finish in the Big Ten and its fifth-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
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