Matsumura, Bushamuka Take Home All-SEC Honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After a dominant season at the top two, the one-two punch of freshman Ryotaro Matsumura and sophomore William Bushamuka were recognized by the league’s coaches on Thursday morning as the Southeastern Conference announced its annual league awards. 

The two top-50 singles players combined for four SEC honors. Matsumura brought home one of the four individual awards, being named Co-Freshman of the Year. The rookie also was named to the All-SEC Second Team and the league’s All-Freshman team. Bushamuka, after an impressive season on the top court, was named to the All-SEC First Team. 

Matsumura earned his three distinctions following an incredible rookie campaign. The Fukui, Japan, native led Kentucky with 18 singles wins over the course of the season while competing primarily on the second court. The first-year Wildcat fared well in conference play, earning a 7-3 mark in SEC matches. Matsumura, currently ranked No. 44 in the country, also amassed seven singles wins over the course of the season, with the largest coming in a 6-3, 6-2 upset of 34th-ranked Wayne Montgomery of Georgia. 

The three honors now give Matsumura five conference awards total, as the rookie was twice named SEC Freshman of the Week this season.

Bushamuka put together a sensational sophomore season to earn his spot on the All-SEC First Team. The second-year player put together a 16-8 record during dual matches including 13 on the top court. Paired against all of the opposition’s top competitors all season long, Bushamuka earned a team-best 10 wins over ranked opponents in singles play. Debatably his biggest win of the season came in an exhilarating 7-6, 6-3 victory over reigning NCAA singles champion Ryan Shane of Virginia. In addition to his ranked wins, Bushamuka knocked off four top-15 ranked foes.

By being named to the All-SEC first team, Bushamuka claims his second SEC award of the season after being named SEC Player of the Week following the first weekend of play. 

Together, the duo helped UK jump from unranked at the beginning of the season to a top-25 ranked program, as the team was twice named the Orcale ITA Big Mover of the Week during 2016. Kentucky exceeded expectations, finishing the regular season fourth in the Southeastern Conference after being pegged as the twelfth-best team in the league in the preseason polls. 

Kentucky awaits its fate in the national tournament with the NCAA selection show set for Tuesday, May 3, at 5:30 p.m. ET. 

First Team All-SEC
Mike Redlicki, Arkansas
Diego Hidalgo, Florida
Elliott Orkin, Florida
Gordon Watson, Florida
Wayne Montgomery, Georgia
Austin Smith, Georgia
William Bushamuka, Kentucky
Gustav Hansson, Ole Miss
Mate Cutura, Mississippi State
Arthur Rinderknech, Texas A&M
Shane Vinsant, Texas A&M
Daniel Valent, Vanderbilt

Second Team All-SEC
Korey Lovett, Alabama 
Mazen Osama, Alabama 
Jose Salazar, Arkansas 
Alfredo Perez, Florida 
Paul Oosterbaan, Georgia 
Ryotaro Matsumura, Kentucky 
Justin Butsch, LSU 
Jordan Daigle, LSU 
Stefan Lindmark, Ole Miss 
Rishab Agarwal, Mississippi State 
Nuno Borges, Mississippi State 
Gabriel Friedrich, South Carolina 
Luis Valero, Tennessee 
Cameron Klinger, Vanderbilt 

Alfredo Perez, Florida 
Walker Duncan, Georgia 
Nuno Borges, Mississippi State 
Mazen Osama, Alabama 
Ryotaro Matsumura, Kentucky 
Cameron Klinger, Vanderbilt 

Player of the Year: Diego Hidalgo, Florida
Co-Freshman of the Year: Ryotaro Matsumura, Kentucky; Alfredo Perez, Florida  
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Rishab Agarwal, Mississippi State 
Coach of the Year: Bryan Shelton, Florida

For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter or Kentucky Men’s Tennis Team on Facebook.