May 8, 2012
IRVING, Texas – The Sooners nearly swept the 2012 All-Big 12 men’s tennis postseason awards as head coach John Roddick secured the Coach of the Year accolade, while Costin Paval was honored as the Player of the Year and Guillermo Alcorta garnered the Newcomer of the Year award.
The three conference accolades are firsts for a Sooner program that earned its first regular season and postseason conference titles in the Big 12 era.
“We’re honored to earn these awards as it is a testament of just how far we have come as a program,” John Roddick said. “Costin and Willie [Guillermo Alcorta] are both very disserving of these awards. They were a huge reason why we were able to go undefeated as a team [in conference play]. As for the coach of the year honor, it reflects how well our team has played this year. It has been a great effort and I appreciate all of their hard work.”
This season, Roddick guided the Sooners to a perfect 5-0 mark in Big 12 play to cement their first conference title. The third-year head coach currently has OU ranked No. 10 in the country, and later this week the Sooners will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championship for a third straight year. Roddick becomes the first Oklahoma men's tennis coach to win the Big 12's Coach of the Year honor following his Sooners 18-3 season.
Paval followed in the footsteps of his coach by breaking new ground for the OU program, becoming the first Sooner to score the league's Player of the Year award. The junior has produced 15 wins to only three losses this season for Oklahoma at the No. 1 position that includes a 4-1 mark in conference action. Paval won the Big 12's Freshman of the Year in 2010 and was selected as the Big 12's Player of the Week twice this season. He is currently the highest ranked Big 12 player in the ITA singles listings at No. 14, earning the league's automatic bid into the NCAA singles and doubles championships at the end of the month.
After redshirting in 2011, Alcorta burst onto the scene for Oklahoma to record a 16-4 combined record at the No. 2 and 3 positions. Against conference competition, the sophomore was 5-0 to help lead the Sooners to both conference crowns. He is currently ranked No. 63 by the ITA. Like Roddick and Paval, Alcorta becomes the first Sooner to be named the league's Newcomer of the Year.
Additionally, Peerakit Siributwong and Dane Webb made the All-Big 12 singles team, while two tandems earned spots on the doubles team. Siributwong and Tsvetan Mihov joined Paval and Webb as unanimous selections to the doubles team.
“All-in-all we are excited that our top players are getting these awards,” Roddick said.
The Sooners open the 2012 NCAA First and Second Rounds on Friday, May 11 when they take on UMKC in the first round at 2 p.m. The winner will advance to the second round and will play the winner of Tulsa vs. Minnesota on Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m.