Watling Named Conference USA Player of the Year

May 3, 2012

IRVING, Texas - Senior Ashley Watling was named the Conference USA Player of the Year and five members of the Tulsa men's tennis team earned postseason recognition, the league announced today.

Watling becomes the third player in school history to win the prestigious honor (Arnau Brugues 2006-09, Marcelo Arevalo 2011), and the Golden Hurricane has captured six of the last seven player of the year awards.

Watling has recorded a 17-5 singles record and a 17-6 doubles mark this spring. He also owns a 12-1 record at No. 3 singles, and he has played at No. 1 doubles all year.

"Ashley winning player of the year is very special to me because he has worked his butt off for this program for four years," Tulsa Head Coach Vince Westbrook said. "The recognition is a testament to his work ethic, and all of our postseason honors continue to show our dominance in this conference. This is a tough league, and we're happy to be able to call ourselves conference champions."

Watling headlines four members of the Golden Hurricane who were selected to the All-Conference USA Singles First Team. The mark tied the conference record for most first-team selections by one team with last year's Tulsa squad.

Watling earned his third-straight first team honor, and he was joined by juniors Clifford Marsland, Grant Ive and sophomore Japie De Klerk. Marsland and De Klerk both earned their second-straight honor, while Ive received his first-career postseason laurel.



Watling and Marsland were also named to the All-Conference USA Doubles First Team as the highest-ranked tandem in the league at No. 10 in the nation. This was Watling's third straight first team doubles award and Marsland's second in a row.

Ive was the lone player to win three singles matches in the Conference USA Championship to help lead the Golden Hurricane to its sixth league crown, and for his efforts he was named the Outstanding Singles Player of the Championship. This is the sixth time in the last seven years TU has won the honor.

The doubles team of De Klerk and freshman Alejandro Espejo boasted the only perfect 2-0 mark in the C-USA Championship, and they were honored as the Outstanding Doubles Team of the Championship. TU has won this honor four of the last six years.

The Tulsa men will compete in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship against No. 36 Minnesota at 11 a.m. May 11 in Norman, Okla.

(four-way tie for the final spot on the first team resulted in a nine member first team)
Connor Glennon, Memphis
Johnny Grimal, Memphis
David O'Leary, Memphis
Sam Garforth-Bles, Rice
Idan Mark, Tulane
Japie De Klerk, Tulsa
Grant Ive, Tulsa
Clifford Marsland, Tulsa
Ashley Watling, Tulsa

ALL-CONFERENCE USA SINGLES SECOND TEAM Joran Vliegen, East Carolina Gaston Guadranti, SMU Arturs Kazijevs, SMU Danny Manlow, UAB Jorge Blasco, UCF

ALL-CONFERENCE USA DOUBLES FIRST TEAM Connor Glennon/David Henry, Memphis David O'Hare/Joe Salisbury, Memphis Clifford Marsland/Ashley Watling, Tulsa

ALL-CONFERENCE USA DOUBLES SECOND TEAM Christian Saravia/Justin To, Rice Arturs Kazijevs/Tobias Flood, SMU Idan Mark/Joe Young, Tulane

Coach of the Year: Paul Goebel, Memphis Player of the Year: Ashley Watling, Tulsa Co-Freshmen of the Year: Connor Glennon, Memphis and Arturs Kazijevs, SMU Outstanding Singles Player of the Championship: Grant Ive, Tulsa Outstanding Doubles Team of the Championship: Japie De Klerk/Alejandro Espejo, Tulsa

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