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Conference USA Announces All-Decade Team, Tulane Standouts Highlight the List

April 20, 2005 10:51 AM

Conference USA is celebrating its 10th anniversary during the 2004-05 season. In conjunction, the league is naming a Team of the Decade for each of the conference’s 19 sports. Men’s Tennis is the latest sport to have its All-Decade team released and the squad is led by former Tulane standout Michael Kogan, the only four-time Player of the Year in Conference USA history, who was named as the Athlete of the Decade. The Men’s Tennis Coach of the Decade award was won by Tulane’s Robert Klein, who has led the Green Wave to four C-USA championships and eight consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Voting on the awards was done by each of the league’s current men’s tennis coaches.

Tulane placed a league-high three players on the All-Decade Team, with TCU and USF each producing two. Louisville, Memphis and UAB all produced one player on the squad.

Michael Kogan, Tulane (2000-04) – ATHLETE OF THE DECADE
Four-time Conference USA Player of the Year (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)…NCAA Singles National Finalist as a senior (2004)…led Tulane to three C-USA Championships (2001, 2003, 2004) and four NCAA Tournament appearances (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004), including a Regional Championship in 2003…three-time All-American in singles and two-time All-American in doubles…Tulane’s all-time leader in singles (119) and doubles (97) victories…named C-USA Athlete of the Week 13 times in his career…also named C-USA Freshman of the Year in 2001.

Robert Klein, Tulane (1993-present) - MEN’S TENNIS COACH OF THE DECADE
Has guided the Green Wave to four C-USA Championships (1997, 2001, 2003, 2004) and eight straight NCAA Tournament appearances… has tallied a 160-85 (.653) record in the last 10 years, while winning Coach of the Year honors four times…in the last nine years in C-USA has never finished below third in the league…program has closed the year ranked in the top 42 for the past eight years, including a final ranking of No. 14 in 2003…Klein players have earned C-USA Player of the Year seven times as well as 28 all-conference selections.

Michael Mather, Louisville (1996-98)
Two-time All-C-USA first team member… Reached the round of 16 in 1998, becoming U of L’s first All-American… The Cardinals’ No. 1 player, entered the NCAA tournament with a perfect 22-0 dual match record – the only college player in the country to accomplish that feat in 1998… Finished his senior season ranked 13th in the country in singles, the highest singles ranking in U of L history… Ranked as high as No. 21 in doubles (with Chris Steel)… tied for third on school’s list for single season wins with 33… tied for second on school’s list for single season doubles wins with 28… named C-USA Player of the Week twice.

Lee Taylor Walker, Memphis (2001-04)
First-ever Tiger to earn First-Team All C-USA honors (2003-04) (2nd team in 2002-03)…capped his career No. 103 in singles, the first-ever Tiger to earn a national ranking in singles…teamed with Ben Stapp to be part of the program’s first-ever ranked doubles team…received the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award at the 2004 U.S. Open…three-time member of the Academic Honor Roll… held a 54-43 record in singles at Memphis and 64-29 in doubles.

Alex Menichini, TCU (2002-04)
A member of the All-C-USA First Teams in 2003 and 2004…C-USA Sportsmanship Award in 2004…named Doubles Team of the C-USA Championship in 2004 after going 3-0 with Jacob Martin…achieved a career-high ranking of 22nd during spring 2004…highest ranked player he defeated in his career was Lester Cook from Texas A&M, rated 17th at the time of their spring 2004 match…reached the second round of the NCAA Singles Championship in 2004 by defeating then-No. 24 Mark Van Elden from Oklahoma State.

Fabrizio Sestini, TCU (2002-05)
Tabbed the C-USA Freshman of the Year in 2002…was named to the All-Conference Second Teams in 2002, 2003 and 2004…defeated four-time C-USA Player of the Year Michael Kogan of Tulane in 2002 when Kogan was ranked No. 10 in the nation…achieved a career-high ranking of 20th in singles in spring 2005 and has been as high as No. 8 in doubles with Rafael Abreu…won the 2003 ITA South Central Regional Doubles Championship with Abreu…has three singles wins in spring 2005 against opponents ranked in the top 10.

Victor Romero, Tulane (2001-03)
Earned first team All-Conference honors in all three of his years (2001, 2002, 2003)…helped Tulane to two C-USA Championships (2001, 2003) and three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances…earned All-America honors in doubles in 2003…as a senior, named the Outstanding Singles Player and was part of the Outstanding Doubles Team at the C-USA Tournament…set school record for winning percentage in 2001 by posting a 19-3 mark (.870).

Robert Samuelsson, Tulane (1996-99)
Three-time Conference USA Player of the Year (1997, 1998, 1999)…earned first team All-America honors in 1998 and 1999…was ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation…also an Academic All-American as a senior…earned the national Rafael Osuna Award for sportsmanship in 1999…led the Green Wave to three NCAA Tournaments (1997, 1998, 1999) with the 1997 trip being Tulane’s first since 1965…also named C-USA Freshman of the Year (1996).

Martin Woisetschläger, UAB (1997-2000)
The 2000 Conference USA Player of the Year...a four-time, first-team All-Conference USA performer...tabbed C-USA Freshman of the Year honors in 1997...earned All-America honors in 2000 and played in NCAA Tournament...nationally-ranked in all four years with a high rank of No. 12 as senior...compiled 90-34 career singles record...also a GTE Academic All-American in 2000.

Paco Antelo, USF (2000-04)
Three-time All-Conference first team selection (2001, 2002, 2003) … named C-USA Player of the Week on March 21, 2001 … guided his team to the 2002 conference championships where his team finished with a record of 18-5 in the regular season … clinched the match for the C-USA title beating Tulane’s Victor Romero, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 … compiled a 12-5 record during the championship season playing at the No. 1, 2 and 3 positions … ranked No. 54 in singles and No. 15 in doubles in 2002.

George Bastl, USF (1996)
All-Conference first team (1996) and Conference player of the year (1996) in his only year in Conference USA … led the Bulls to a conference championship in its first year of existence … playing at the No. 1 singles position he posted a record of 17-3 … compiled a 16-7 record with partner Souheil Zekri at the No. 1 doubles position … finished the season ranked No. 30 in singles and No. 50 in doubles.




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