Big South announces top tennis honors

Charlotte, NC - From the Big South Conference:

CHARLOTTE, NC – Gardner-Webb senior Evgeny Slesarev was tabbed the Big South Conference Player of the Year, while Radford head coach Mike Anderson was tabbed the League's Coach of the Year by the League's head coaches, it was announced Wednesday at the awards ceremony held on the campus of Radford University.

Liberty's Siim Tuss was honored as the Freshmen of the Year, while the League's sports information directors voted Liberty's Louis Steyn and Igor Ogrizek of Radford as the Big South Co-Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

Slesarev, a No. 1 player from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, notched an 18-3 overall record and a 5-1 mark in Conference play on the year.  He was tabbed the Big South's Player of the Week on three occasions and highlighted his season with wins over two ranked opponents.

One of his biggest wins on the year came against then 80th-ranked Ivan Salec of Radford.  The honor marks Gardner-Webb's first-ever men's tennis Player of the Year nod as he secured four top-votes and 10 points in the voting.

In his 14th year at the helm of the Highlander squad, Anderson led his team to its fifth-straight Big South Regular-Season Championship, sharing the honor with Winthrop during the 2010 campaign.  The Highlanders finished the season with an 11-10 overall record and a 5-1 record in Big South Conference play, winning 41 of its last 42 matches at home.

The Highlanders enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed for the third-straight year.  Anderson notched one first-place vote and 12 points, ahead of Winthrop's Cid Carvalho who posted three No. 1 bids and 11 points.

Tuus, a No. 1 player from Rakvere, Estonia, finished the 2010 campaign with a 7-13 overall record and a 2-4 record in Big South play.  He highlighted his year with back-to-back wins over ranked opponents, including Salec of Radford.  His win against Salec led the Flames to a 4-3 win against the Highlanders, Radford's first Conference loss since the 2007 season.

His six wins at the No. 1 flight helped Liberty to win eight of 10 matches in the span of March 8-April 10 and earned him Big South Player of the Week honors during the week of April 5.  Tuus picked up five top-votes to garner 10 points in the voting, ahead of Radford's Thomas Dehaen who collected two No. 1 votes and eight points.

The 2010 Big South Men's Tennis Championship begins April 22 and concludes on Saturday at the Dedmon Center Courts on the Campus of Radford Univeristy.