April 3, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - For the second-straight week and third time in the past month, a member of the St. John’s men’s tennis team has been named the BIG EAST Men’s Tennis Player of the Week, as the conference office announced St. John’s junior Vasko Mladenov has garnered this week’s honor on Tuesday afternoon.
Junior Mike Lampa picked up the first spring season award for the nationally-ranked Red Storm when he received the weekly honor on March 13, and sophomore Ilija Vucic was awarded the same honor last week. In his first season with St. John’s, Mladenov became the program’s first player to ever win the ITA Northeast Regional Championship and qualify for the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championship this fall. For his efforts, he became the highest individually ranked player in program history, coming in at No. 29 in the nation in the spring season’s preseason poll, and was named the October BIG EAST Men’s Tennis Player of the Month.
Playing five matches in a five-day span last week, No. 58 St. John’s went 4-1 over the stretch, with its only loss coming at No. 20 Harvard (16-1) on Sunday. The Red Storm picked up wins over Penn, Connecticut, Boston University and Yale to improve to 15-6 overall, 2-0 in league play, 10-1 at home and 10-4 against regional competition.
Mladenov, a transfer from the University of Texas, produced six victories for the Red and White during the stretch. Playing at the top singles position, he defeated 118th-ranked Marc Powers of Yale 6-2, 7-5 and topped Harvard’s Jonathan Pearlman 6-0, 6-7, 7-5. He also outlasted Penn’s Nikola Kocovic 6-4, 2-6, 10-6 at No. 2 singles. In doubles play, the junior paired with sophomore Matty Najfeld to pick up three wins and improve to 6-1 as a tandem. A native of Sofia, Bulgaria, Mladenov is 14-4 in singles play and 11-8 in doubles action.
With just two matches remaining on the regular season slate, St. John’s looks to go unbeaten in conference play when it travels to our nation’s capital on Friday, April 13 to face off against Georgetown at 3 p.m. The Red Storm will then travel to Richmond, Va., to conclude the season with a matchup against No. 43 VCU. The 2012 BIG EAST Championship, which will be hosted by USF, is scheduled for Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22 in Tampa, Fla.
To track the St. John’s men’s tennis squad throughout the season, follow the team on Twitter (@STJ_Tennis) and use the #stjtennis hashtag throughout the conversation.