Pelaez Receives MVC Athlete of the Week Selection
March 30, 2010
NORMAL, Ill. - For the second-consecutive week an Illinois State men's tennis player has been named the Missouri Valley Conference Athlete of the Week by the league office. Freshman Alexander Pelaez received his first-career MVC Athlete of the Week selection Tuesday, after an impressive performance over the weekend.
Pelaez helped Illinois State capture a win Sunday afternoon against Air Force, with wins at No. 1 singles and No. 3 doubles. In doubles, Pelaez and teammate Michael Hobson defeated Alex Beaussart and Sam Barnes, 8-7 (1-0). The freshman went on to defeat Lance Wilhelm, 7-5, 6-2, on the No. 1 singles court. Before Sunday's match, Wilhelm had only lost one singles match in dual play this season.
The Redbirds were unable to gain the doubles point against Air Force, but took all six singles points for a 6-1 victory and improved their record to 9-7 on the season.
In Saturday's loss to No. 25 Denver, Pelaez was leading his singles match against David Simson, taking the first set 6-3 before the match was stopped after Denver clinched the fourth overall match point and the victory (conference-tournament scoring was used due to time constraints).
"This is a nice honor for Alex and for our team," head coach Cris James said. "We have had a few guys get it now this year and I think that is a tribute to our overall team success and the fact that everyone is pushing each other to get better. Alex was a little up and down earlier in the year, as freshmen often are, but has been solid as a rock for us lately and had a good weekend in Colorado."
Pelaez's athlete of the week selection is the third this season for the Redbirds. Filip Miljevic received an MVC Athlete of the Week selection on Feb. 2, and Skip Span was awarded the honor last week on Mar. 23.
The Redbirds open MVC play this weekend when they take on the Salukis of Southern Illinois Saturday afternoon. The first match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., at the University Courts.
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