April 26, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A pair of Commodore men's tennis players earned All-Southeastern Conference honors, highlighted by Charlie Jones being named the sport's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Jones was also named Second Team All-SEC, as was Gonzales Austin. Austin, in turn, was named to the league's All-Freshman Team.
The conference announced the awards on Thursday, April 26. Kentucky's Eric Quigley and Dennis Emery were named Player and Coach of the Year, respectively. Nick Scholtz of Ole Miss took home Freshman of the Year.
Jones has posted a 13-9 record on the spring, playing every match at number one singles, and is currently ranked No. 42 in the nation. He went 5-6 in SEC play, facing a ranked opponent in eight of those 11 matches. During the last four matches of the regular season, he faced four of the top-20 players in the country, going 1-3 in that stretch, yet seeing his national ranking rise to a peak of 34th.
The Destrehan, La., native has also posted a 3.73 grade-point average while double-majoring in Political Science and Interdisciplinary: Public Policy Studies. He has made the Dean's List at Vanderbilt six times and has been on the SEC Academic Honor Roll every year of his career. He is Vanderbilt's first men's tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year (award began in 2004).
Austin has posted a mark of 14-8 on the dual season, playing primarily at number two singles. The freshman went 6-5 on the SEC season, while also playing at the top doubles position. Austin and Alex DiValero scored upsets of the No. 8, No. 63 and No. 32 doubles parings in the country during the stretch run.
Austin has ascended to No. 81 in the national ITA singles rankings. He becomes just the second Vanderbilt player to make the All-Freshman team since the conference began selecting it in 2008, joining Ryan Lipman in 2010.
Vanderbilt is awaiting its NCAA Tournament fate with an ITA ranking of 40th. The field will be announced on Tuesday, May 1, at 4:30 p.m. CT. First round action then begins at campus sites on Friday, May 11.