Kauffmann, Bushamuka, Matsumura Garner ITA Regional Honors
TEMPE, Ariz. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the 2015-16 Division I regional award winners on Monday, May 9, with Kentucky head coach Cedric Kauffmann, sophomore William Bushamuka and freshman Ryotaro Matsumura all claiming awards in the Ohio Valley Region.
Kauffmann was named the Wilson/ITA Ohio Valley Region Coach of the Year. Bushamuka was named the region’s Player to Watch, while Matsumura was named Rookie of the Year.
National award winners for Division I will be announced on Tuesday, May 24.
Kauffmann earns his first Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year award after guiding an unranked Kentucky team to a top-25 program by the end of the season. After losing former No. 1 singles player Beck Pennington to injury this season, Kauffmann led UK to a 19-9 record and a fourth place finish in the Southeastern Conference after being tabbed to finish 12th in the conference’s preseason poll. Of the team’s 19 wins, nine were against ranked opponents, including a 2-2 record against top-10 opponents. UK was named the Oracle ITA Big Mover of the week twice, jumping from unranked to No. 55 and from No. 49 to No. 18 in the country. Three players earned SEC weekly awards during the season, while two members in Matsumura and Bushamuka earned SEC end of year awards including SEC Co-Freshman of the Year and All-SEC team selections.
Bushamuka was named Player to Watch after an incredible season which garnered him a place on the All-SEC First Team. He compiled a 16-8 singles record in dual matches this season, including a 13-8 record on the top court. He currently ranks No. 29 in the country and ranked as high as 23 during the season. Bushamuka’s 10 wins over ranked singles opponents marked a team-best, including four wins against opponents ranked in the top 15 in the country. The Princeton, N.J., native’s season was highlighted by a straight-set victory over reigning NCAA singles champion Ryan Shane 7-6, 6-3. He has a 45-29 career record in singles play as a sophomore.
Matsumura was named Rookie of the Year after being named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year on April 28. An SEC Second Team All-Conference and All-Freshman Team selection, Matsumura earned a team-high 18 wins in dual matches including a 14-7 record on the second court while going 4-0 playing at No. 1. The Fukui, Japan native took seven ranked wins over the course of the season and is the highest ranked freshman in ITA rankings in the Ohio Valley Region. Matsumura ranked as high as 31 in ITA singles rankings, while currently sitting at No. 42 in the country. He went 7-3 in SEC matches, with his highest ranked win of the season came in an upset of No. 34 Wayne Montgomery at Georgia.
The No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats men’s tennis team will return to the NCAA tournament for the 26th time in program history, as UK is slated for a first round matchup with Virginia Tech, May 14 at 10 a.m., at the Stickney Tennis Center located on the campus of host school Ohio State University.
The winner of Kentucky’s match with Virginia Tech will take on the winner of Ohio State and Tennessee Tech in the tournament’s second round the following day at noon.
Ohio Valley Region
Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year: Cedric Kauffmann, University of Kentucky
ITA Assistant Coach of the Year: Michal Kokta, Purdue University
ITA Most Improved Player (Senior): Alex Gornet, University of Louisville
ITA Senior Player of the Year: Sam Monette, Indiana University
ITA Rookie of the Year: Ryotaro Matsumura, University of Kentucky
ITA Player to Watch: William Bushamuka, University of Kentucky
ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award: Alex Gornet, University of Louisville
For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter or Kentucky Men’s Tennis Team on Facebook.