SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento State men's tennis team, winner of 2001 Big Sky Conference title, placed five members on the all-conference team, it was announced today.
Seniors Chris Smith and Joseph Gilbert and junior Sherif Zaher were each named first team all-Big Sky while senior Kevin Vieira was named to the second team and sophomore Sylvain Iff received honorable mention honors. Zaher and Smith were both unanimous first team selections.
Zaher, who was named conference MVP on April 26, played at both No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles while earning four conference player of the week awards. The Cairo, Egypt, native has won 12 of his last 14 matches and finished the regular season with a 16-4 singles record. He also teamed with Gilbert to go 17-3 at No. 1 doubles.
Smith has now received all-Big Sky honors three-consecutive years after transferring from Fresno State in 1998. The Fresno, Calif., native compiled a 17-4 singles record, including 15-3 at No. 3 and 2-1 at No. 2. Smith, who has won 10-consecutive matches, teamed with Fabio Jesus to go 13-4 in doubles play, including 9-4 at No. 2 and 4-0 at No. 3.
Gilbert finished the regular season with an overall singles record of 17-3, including 7-1 at No. 4, 10-1 at No. 5 and 0-1 at No. 3. The Fullerton, Calif., native spent one season at both Boise State and Fresno State before transferring to Sacramento State in 1999. Gilbert, who recorded straight-set victories in all 17 of his singles wins, teamed with Zaher to go 17-3 at the No. 1 doubles slot.
Vieira was named to the second team after posting a team-best 17-2 singles record, including 13-1 at No. 6, 3-1 at No. 5 and 1-0 at No. 4. The Turlock, Calif., native, who transferred to Sacramento State in 1999 after spending two years at Fresno State, has won nine-straight matches including 15 of his last 16. Vieira teamed with Iff to go 15-3 in doubles play, including 2-1 at No. 2 and 13-2 at No. 3.
Iff received honorable mention honors after going 13-7 in singles play, primarily at the Nos. 4-5 spots. Iff, who was a first team all-Big Sky selection as a freshman last year, finished the season on a six-match winning streak after opening the year 7-7. The Geneva, Switzerland, native teamed with Vieira to go 15-3 in doubles play.
Sacramento State finished the regular season with a program-best 20-2 record and will compete in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years this Saturday, May 12, against host UCLA in the first round. The Hornets and Bruins (20-2) will play at 1 p.m. with the victor facing the winner of the South Carolina/South Florida match in the second round.