MSU's Cant, Ilyushin Earn 2012 First Team All-SEC Honors
The last time the Bulldogs had two players garner first-team honors was in 2001 with Romain Ambert and Marco Baron, who also earned second-team All-SEC honors in doubles.
This year, these two seniors combined for a stellar 36-9 record in dual-match play while posting a solid 18-4 slate in the SEC. Ilyushin, currently ranked 12th nationally, has earned as high as a No. 10 ranking this season en route to defeating 11 ranked opponents, seven in the Top 40.
His most notable win came against third-ranked Will Spencer of Georgia with a solid 6-4, 7-5 two-setter in the top spot. Ilyushin began an 8-0 in SEC action this spring before falling in a thrilling three-setter to the SEC's Player of the Year in Eric Quigley of Kentucky.
Cant, ranked 50th in this week's ITA poll, boasts a solid 9-2 SEC slate, a 21-2 dual-match record and a stellar 28-6 overall ledger in the 2011-12 season. Competing mostly at the No. 4 position, Cant holds a solid 6-1 record against ranked opponents, with a notable breezy two-set decision against 72nd-ranked William Kallberg of Ole Miss during MSU's 4-3 downing of the Rebels to conclude a season sweep.
Earning as high as a No. 37 national ranking this season, Cant finished the spring on an eight-match win streak with a comeback win against Georgia's Nathan Pasha in the SEC Championships hosted by Mississippi State last weekend.
"Both of these guys had an incredible year," MSU coach Per Nilsson said. "This is the toughest conference in the country, and I could not be more proud of them. They have really carried this team all year."
With the conclusion of the SEC Championships last weekend, the Bulldogs now await word on receiving an NCAA Tournament bid and the right to host the first and second rounds of play. The selection show begins next Tuesday, May 1 at 4:30 p.m. CT at http://web1.ncaa.org/NCAATV/exec/query.