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April 14, 2010
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Although the USC Upstate men's tennis team fell one player short of reaching the school-record of six Atlantic Sun Conference All-Conference selections, announced by the league office on Wednesday, it did pick up another major award, as coach Alessandro De Marzo earned his first A-Sun Coach of the Year honors.
In addition, two players earned All-First Team honors from the A-Sun for the first time, as both sophomore Edgar Rodriguez and senior Javier Tori earned mention. Three players, sophomore Ramiro Blanco, junior Marco Linconir, and senior Jack Roux rounded out Upstate's selections on the Second Team.
De Marzo, in his sixth year at USC Upstate, earned his first Coach of the Year award, as he led the senior-laden Spartans to their first outright conference title in program history. De Marzo's Spartans are currently ranked 52nd in the nation and finished the season 18-5 overall and a perfect 10-0 in the A-Sun, including a 4-3 win over ETSU, the school's first regular-season loss in the conference. Along the way, De Marzo became the second coach in school history to reach 100 career dual meet wins and he sustained his legacy of excellence, finishing the season with a 106-32 career record.
Rodriguez earned his second straight First Team All-A-Sun honors after serving as Upstate's top player, posting a 19-12 overall mark and an 8-1 record at No. 1 singles in A-Sun matches. Rodriguez had a productive fall, reaching the round of 32 at the Southern Intercollegiates and the qualifying round at the ITA All-American Championships. He also posted an 18-6 doubles mark with partner Blanco, including a 9-1 A-Sun mark.
Tori earned his first First Team All-A-Sun honors and his second All-A-Sun honors after earning Second Team honors as a junior. He posted a 23-5 overall singles record and finished 21-2 in dual meets, capping the season by winning 16 straight singles matches. He also beat regionally-ranked opponents this year in Stetson's Cesare Gallo and Georgia's Bo Seal and set the A-Sun record for player of the week awards in a season (3) and career (5) while finishing a perfect 10-0 in A-Sun play. The all-time wins leader at USC Upstate, Tori, a No. 3 singles player and a No. 1 doubles player, holds the school record for singles (86), doubles (81) and combined (167) wins. He is the lone player in school history to win 20 singles matches in all three years and 20 doubles matches in all four years.
Blanco, who missed the fall semester due to personal issues at home in Argentina, earned his second career Second Team All-A-Sun honors for his work at No. 5 singles, after finishing the A-Sun season with a 9-1 mark, mainly at that spot. Overall, Blanco finished 15-8 on the season, posting a 10-5 mark at No. 5 singles. Blanco was just as solid in doubles play with partner Rodriguez, posting an 18-6 overall mark and a 9-1 mark in A-Sun play.
Linconir, who transferred to Upstate from Itawamba Community College in the January, came on strong in A-Sun play to earn Second Team All-A-Sun honors at No. 6 singles. After struggling with injuries early in the season that saw him start the season 0-5, Linconir rebounded from the injury and settled into the No. 6 slot in the lineup to finish the season with a 10-3 stretch, including posting a perfect 8-0 A-Sun mark. Linconir was also key in the doubles lineup, finishing 12-5 with partner Roux.
Roux completed his career with his second career Second Team All-A-Sun honors at No. 4 singles, as the 5-6 Chilean posted a 20-3 dual match record. He added an 11-2 mark at No. 4 and he also notched a 9-1 A-Sun record. Also a solid doubles player, he finished 17-10 overall, including an 8-2 record in A-Sun play. He reached the qualifying doubles finals at the ITA All-American Championships with Javier Tori and he finished his career as the only player to win 15 singles matches in all four years at Upstate. He finished with 77 singles wins (second in school history) and 67 doubles wins (fifth) to make up his 144 career combined wins (second).