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Arizona men’s tennis earns Pac-12 Coach and Freshman of the Year honors

arizona-wildcats-men’s-tennis-clancy-shields-stock-analysis-program-2019 Courtesy Arizona Athletics

Arizona men’s tennis coach Clancy Shields was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the second straight season after leading the Wildcats to their first-ever Sweet Sixteen by beating Michigan and Kentucky in Kentucky.

The Wildcats finished 21-8 including a 5-2 mark in Pac-12, earning them the No. 2 seed at Pac-12 Championships, their highest in program history.

Shields has turned around an Arizona program that was near the bottom of the barrel when he was away from Utah State in 2016. The Wildcats hadn’t won more than 15 matches in a season since 2009.

Arizona should be able to continue this success thanks to Gustaf Strom, who Thursday was named the Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and to the All-Pac-12 First Team.

Per a UA release, he “is the first Wildcat ever to win the Freshman/Newcomer of the Year in program history and is the first since Roger Matalonga in 2006 to be named to the All-Conference First Team. Strom is also set to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship starting on Sunday. Strom put up a team-high 18 singles wins throughout the season along with five ranked victories.”

The Wildcats also saw fellow Swede Jonas Ziverts earn his second All-Pac-12 Second Team honors while seniors Alejandro Reguant and Filip Malbasic were all-conference honorable mentions.

Reguant departs as the winningest player in program history with 144 overall wins.