Quartet of Huskies earn postseason men's tennis accolades from Mid-American Conference


April 28, 2004

CLEVELAND, OH - For the second straight season, four members of the Northern Illinois University men's tennis team earned recognition from the Mid-American Conference Wednesday (Apr. 28) when the league announced its postseason awards. A pair of Huskies were named First Team All-MAC, while another duo was selected to the Second Team in polling done by the league's head coaches.

Graduating from a second team All-MAC selection in 2003 to this season's top tier, junior Willy Gali (Barcelona, Spain / les Avsias March) has been Gibraltar for the Huskies throughout the season, posting a team-best 27-4 record and a league-best .871 winning percentage in singles action. Gali also translated that success to the doubles court, winning 22 of 28 matches in that arena. The Barcelona, Spain, native was also solid when it mattered most, posting a perfect 2-0 record in MAC Tournament play, notching wins in the No. 1 spot against top-seeded Western Michigan and second-seeded Ball State.

Joining Gali in the leap from 2003 Second Team to 2004 First Team is senior Juan Pablo Barriga (Ario de Rosales Michoacan, Mexico / Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Michoacan), who posted a 22-10 mark playing primarily as the No. 2 singles player on the squad. Barriga also went 20-10 on the doubles court, including a 19-10 record with All-MAC Second-Team selection Erick Martinez (Amargura, Mexico / Preparatoria Abierta).

The junior, Martinez, tallied a 20-9 mark on the season, accompanied by a 20-10 ledger in doubles play. He was joined on the second team by freshman Jack Komar (Lake in the Hills / Crystal Lake South), whose 26-8 record was the best among league rookies. Komar added 11 victories on the doubles court, partnering with Stephen Guntly (Genoa City, WI / Badger).

Adding to the Huskie hardware collection was Barriga, who was selected as the winner of the Jack Vredevelt Sportsman of the Year award. This is the second consecutive season a member of the NIU squad has been honored with the award, with Raymond van Wasbeek taking home the accolade in 2003.

League champion Western Michigan swept the rest of the awards, with the Broncos' No. 1 Ravi Pathanjali earning Player of the Year, Brady Crosby earning Newcomer of the Year and David Morin earning Coach of the Year.

### --Copy by Matt Baylor


2004 Mid-American Conference Postseason Men's Tennis Awards

First Team All-MAC
Matt Baccarani (So.) Ball State Toronto, Ontario
Matt Laramore (Jr.) Ball State Indianapolis, IN
Willy Gali (Jr.) Northern Illinois Barcelona, Spain
Juan Pablo Barriga (Sr.) Northern Illinois Ario de Rosales, Mexico

Tommy Dennis (Jr.) Western Michigan Rochester, MI
Ravi Pathanjali (Sr.) Western Michigan Chenni, India

Second Team All-MAC
Patrick Thompson (So.) Ball State Medina, OH
Randy Rocchio (Jr.) Buffalo Amherst, NY
Erick Martinez (Jr.) Northern Illinois Mexico City, Mexico
Jack Komar (Fr.) Northern Illinois Lake in the Hills, IL

Brady Crosby (Fr.) Western Michigan Livonia, MI
Jose Orozco (So.) Western Michigan Cali, Colombia

Player of the Year: Ravi Pathanjali, Western Michigan
Newcomer of the Year: Brady Crosby, Western Michigan
Jack Vredevelt Sportsmanship Award: Juan Pablo Barriga, Northern Illinois
Coach of the Year: Dave Morin, Western Michigan



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