Junior Will Bushamuka, sophomore Ryo Matsumura and senior Beck Pennington all landed on the Southeastern Conference awards list, the league announced Wednesday. Bushamuka earned first team All-SEC honors while Pennington and Matsumura joined him on the second team.
Bushamuka has now earned first team All-SEC honors twice in his career. The highest ranked Wildcat at No. 16 in the nation, Bushamuka saw most of his play this season as the No. 1 singles player. The Princeton, N. J. native earned 12 wins, with nine coming in the first spot. Bushamuka earned five ranked wins this including two top-10 wins. His victory over No. 7 Alfredo Perez in straight sets helped the Cats upset No. 12 Florida. He leads the team in ranked wins with five.
Matsumura lands on the All-SEC second team for the second-consecutive season. Matsumura saw his ranking climb as high as No. 21 during the 2017 campaign, and is currently ranked No. 69 in the nation. Seeing most of his play as in the No. 2 spot, the Fukui, Japan native amassed an 11-9 record, with three wins coming as the No. 1 player for the Cats. Matsumura has two ranked wins this season over No. 27 Josh Hager of Notre Dame and No. 38 Emil Reinberg of Georgia.
Pennington finds himself back on the All-SEC second team after also being named to the team in 2015. Pennington is tied with fellow senior Nils Ellefsen for most wins for the Wildcats during the spring season at 16. While he has seen time as the No. 1 and No. 2 singles player, with most of his action at the No. 3 singles slot. The Bowling Green, Kentucky native earned one win on the top court, four in the No. 2 spot and 11 as the No. 3 player. Pennington saw four ranked opponents this season, beating No. 119 Alex Lebedev of Notre Dame, No. 83 Kevin Wong of Michigan, helping his ranking climb to its highest of No. 113 in the nation this season.
Kentucky will be back in action in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 12 at 2 p.m. for first round action against Georgia State. The Winston-Salem Regional will be hosted by Wake Forest University at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.
First Team All-SEC Second Team All-SEC
Mazen Osama, Alabama Thibault Cancel, Alabama
Mike Redlicki, Arkansas Max Hinnisdaels, Auburn
Jose Salazar, Arkansas Emil Reinberg, Georgia
Alfredo Perez, Florida Beck Pennington, Kentucky
Elliott Orkin, Florida Ryo Matsumura, Kentucky
Nathan Ponwith, Georgia Jordan Daigle, LSU
Jan Zielinski, Georgia Justin Butsch, LSU
Robert Loeb, Georgia Fabian Fallert, Ole Miss
Wayne Montgomery, Georgia Niclas Braun, Mississippi State
William Bushamuka, Kentucky Strahinja Rakic, Mississippi State
Gustav Hansson, Ole Miss Gabriel Friedrich, South Carolina
Nuno Borges, Mississippi State Valentin Vacherot, Texas A&M
Harrison O’Keefe, South Carolina Jordi Arconada, Texas A&M
Timo Stodder Tennessee Cameron Klinger, Vanderbilt
Arthur Rinderknech, Texas A&M
Thibault Cancel, Alabama
Johannes Ingildsen, Florida
Nathan Ponwith, Georgia
Giovanni Oradini, Mississippi State
Hady Habib, Texas A&M
Valentin Vacherot, Texas A&M
Player of the Year
Nuno Borges, Mississippi State
Freshman of the Year
Nathan Ponwith, Georgia
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Vikram Chari, Vanderbilt
Coach of the Year
Manuel Diaz, Georgia
‑ GO CATS –
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