MSU Tennis Stars Cant, Ilyushin Named Capital One Academic All-America
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Announced Thursday by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America), Mississippi State men's tennis players Louis Cant and Artem Ilyushin have been selected to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Division I Men’s At-Large Team with their impressive seasons on the court and in the classroom.
One of just 15 male student-athletes around the country earning First Team national honors on the Capital One at-large team, Cant roared through a phenomenal senior season in 2012, finishing the year at 32-7 overall with a 23-2 dual match record, and was the first 30-match winner in singles for MSU in 10 years. Cant ended his MSU career on a strong note, reaching the NCAA Singles Championship round of 16 to become State's 20th All-American on the court in men's tennis. Also a First-Team, All-SEC selection while competing mostly at the No. 4 and 5 positions, Cant concluded 2012 SEC play with an incredible 9-2 record. Cant downed eight ranked opponents this season and won 11-straight matches near the end of the year, finishing the season ranked 52nd nationally in singles and 51st in doubles.
MSU's male nominee for the SEC's prestigious H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Postgraduate Scholarship this year, Cant posted stellar academic results 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.
Also an All-American on the court, the 13th-ranked Ilyushin was named to the Capital One national team as a Second Team honoree. A First-Team All-SEC selection and the ITA Southern Region Senior Player of the Year, Ilyushin earned a 9-16 seeding in the 2012 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship (also reaching the round of 16), and became MSU's 19th All-American in the process. He ended 2012 at 17-9 in singles action, including a remarkable 9-2 SEC record playing at the No. 1 position. Ilyushin had seven wins against opponents ranked in the top 40 in singles. In addition to his singles success, Ilyushin also had a great year in doubles, competing in the NCAA Doubles Championship and finishing ranked 27th in the country with teammate George Coupland.
In the classroom, Ilyushin posted stellar academic results with an impressive 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.
"Louis and Artem both did an outstanding job in the classroom. And as All-Americans on the court as well this season, they certainly deserve this honor which recognizes those who succeed at both," MSU head coach Per Nilsson said. "We are very proud they are being honored for their work all-around. It is well-deserved."
MSU men's tennis, which made the program's 21st NCAA appearance, finished with its highest national ranking since 1998, and claimed its second-straight SEC West crown, once again led all Bulldog men's sports teams in team GPA this spring.