May 14, 2012
SKILLMAN, N.J. -- One day after completing a successful 2011-12 season, freshman Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) and head coach Bruce Berque of the University of Michigan men's tennis team earned Midwest Region Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, from Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on Monday (May 14).
Petrone, who earned 2012 All-Big Ten Conference second team honors, finished his first collegiate season with a 24-11 singles record, including a 17-7 mark in dual matches, to rank sixth among Michigan's all-time winningest freshman players. He claimed 13 of his last 16 matches to end the season, going 7-2 since moving to the No. 2 position, and knocked off Mississippi's No. 20-ranked Marcel Thiemann, 6-4, 6-4, in his final appearance of the season. In doubles play, Petrone posted a 22-13 record and went 17-7 in dual competition from the No. 3 position.
Petrone is the second Wolverine player to garner the ITA rookie award in three seasons, joining current junior Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan Prep), who also claimed the ITA's Player to Watch accolade last season.
Berque claimed the first ITA coaching accolade in U-M program history after guiding the Wolverines to an 18-8 record, a runner-up Big Ten finish and appearance in the NCAA Second Round. It was Michigan's best overall record in four seasons and best Big Ten finish since tying for second in 2007, and the Wolverines achieved it with only seven healthy players on the roster and just one upperclassman. Berque twice garnered ITA Midwest Regional Assistant Coach of the Year honors (2000, '03) during his tenure as an Illinois assistant and won the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2003.
The Wolverines narrowly fell to No. 13-ranked Mississippi in the second round of the NCAA Championships yesterday (May 13) to end the team portion of their 2012 schedule. King will represent Michigan in the NCAA Individual Championships, where he will be the No. 6 seed in the singles competition, starting Wednesday, May 23, in Athens, Ga.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423