Five Appalachian State University men's tennis players have been selected to all-Southern Conference teams, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday. In addition, ASU senior Alain Humblet
(Montreal, Quebec/DE Mortagne) was honored with the league's Don Bunch/Buddy Hartsell Sportsmanship Award.
Sophomore Matt Saltsgaver (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) earned second-team honors in the No. 6 singles position, while senior Philip Kloc (Melbourne, Australia/Mentone Grammar) and junior Sebastien King (Montreal, Quebec/George Vanier) claimed second-team recognition at No. 1 doubles, and ASU seniors Humblet and Alex Markov (Pernik, Bulgaria/Hawai'i Pacific) were tabbed second-team at No. 2 doubles.
ASU's cohort of five all-SoCon honorees is the program's largest group to be recognized in a single season in program history. Samford matches Appalachian with five all-conference players, most among this year's award winners.
Humblet, a senior from Montreal, Canada, posted a 15-5 (8-2 SoCon) mark at No. 3 singles for the Mountaineers. He was also paired with Markov to go 15-2 at No. 2 doubles. Humblet becomes the third Appalachian State netter to win the Bunch/Hartsell Sportsmanship Award, following Bill Plautz (1994) and Dimitar Dimitrov (2007).
Saltsgaver earned Appalachian's only singles nod after posting an 8-1 mark in SoCon action and a 12-7 overall record, playing almost exclusively in the No. 6 singles mark. He won his last six conference matches and becomes Appalachian's third second-team singles selection under the current format, established in 2002; Eric Cohen was named all-SoCon at No. 1 singles in 2003, while Dimitrov was selected at No. 3 in '07.
Appalachian State's top two doubles pairs were also recognized as second-team selections. Their combined efforts helped ASU capture the doubles point in eight of 10 SoCon matches.
Kloc and King paired for the first time in February and strung together five straight wins in March. As ASU's No. 1 duo, Kloc and King picked up six conference wins.
Seniors Humblet and Markov teamed for a 15-2 record at No. 2 singles and picked up wins in 12 of their last 13 matches of the regular season. With an 8-2 mark in SoCon play, the duo's only losses came in tiebreakers against Samford and UNCG.
ASU's three seniors Humblet, Kloc and Markov also represented the Mountaineers as 2011 all-conference honorees.
Appalachian State is gearing up for this weekend's Southern Conference Tournament, hosted by College of Charleston and The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., April 19-22. As the No. 3 seed, ASU has a first-round bye and will play either No. 6 Elon or No. 11 The Citadel in a quarterfinal match on Friday at 3 p.m. on the CofC courts.
Photo Courtesy: Alain Humblet, ASU Athletics