Three Bulldog Tennis Stars Named Capital One Academic All-District
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Announced Friday by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America), Mississippi State men's tennis players Louis Cant, Artem Ilyushin and Malte Stropp have earned Capital One Academic All-District 6 honors with their impressive seasons on the court and in the classroom.
"They do a really great job in the classroom," head coach Per Nilsson said. "All three of them came here and decided to dive right in to doing everything we asked them to do. I am proud they are being honored for their work all-around."
Earning his second-straight Capital One All-District laurel, the 50th-ranked Cant has roared through a phenomenal senior season, standing at 30-6 overall with a 23-2 dual match record. A First-Team, All-SEC selection while competing mostly at the No. 4 and 5 positions, Cant concluded SEC play with an incredible 9-2 record. He is the first 30-match winner in singles for MSU in 10 years. Earning a bid to the 2012 NCAA Singles Championship (starts May 23 in Athens, Ga.) for the first time in his career, Cant downed six ranked opponents this season and is on a nine-match win streak entering the tournament. MSU's male nominee for the SEC's prestigious H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Postgraduate Scholarship, Cant has posted stellar academic results as well with a 3.93 in Kinesiology. He is expected to be named an ITA Scholar Athlete and Academic All-SEC for the third time in his career this summer.
An All-American and presently a top 15 player in the country, the 13th-ranked Ilyushin tacked on yet another honor with the All-District Team award following All-America, First-Team All-SEC and ITA Southern Region Senior Player of the Year honors on the court. Currently 15-8 this year, Ilyushin finished SEC action with a 9-2 record and seven wins against opponents ranked in the top 40. With his top 15 ranking, Ilyushin earned a 9-16 seeding in the 2012 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship, becoming MSU's 19th All-American in the process. In the classroom, Ilyushin has posted stellar academic results with a solid 3.75 grade point average in Business Administration. Like Cant, he is expected to be named an ITA Scholar Athlete and Academic All-SEC for the third time in his career this summer.
Ranked among the nation's top 80 singles players at present, Stropp posted impressive results this spring as he finished 14-11 in dual match action with a solid 7-4 SEC record in the No. 3 position. He is 23-14 overall in singles in 2011-12. The 2011 SEC Freshman of the Year and ITA Southern Region Rookie of the Year, Stropp also earned the 2012 ITA Southern Region Player to Watch award this past week. In the classroom, Stropp has posted a perfect 4.00 GPA in Business Administration thus far at MSU and should earn his second ITA Scholar Athlete honor this summer.
MSU men's tennis, which made the program's 21st NCAA appearance and claimed its second-straight SEC West crown, once again led all Bulldog men's sports teams in team GPA this spring.
State will send three players to the NCAA Individual Championships next week including Cant, Ilyushin and No. 56 George Coupland in singles, along with the 25th-ranked doubles duo of Coupland and Ilyushin. Draws will be released on Tuesday. Follow @mstateMT on Twitter for tournament updates.