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SDSU's Benedikt Stronk Named MWC Men's Tennis Player Of The Week

Aztec senior Benedikt Stronk earned MWC Player of the Week honors for the second time this season on Wednesday.
Aztec senior Benedikt Stronk earned MWC Player of the Week honors for the second time this season on Wednesday.

April 19, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - San Diego State senior Benedikt Stronk has been named the Mountain West Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Week, the league office announced Wednesday. The honor is the second of the season for Stronk and the fourth of his career. With the award, the Berlin, Germany, native also becomes the third Aztec performer in consecutive weeks to garner league accolades, joining fellow teammates Markus Dickhardt (April 5) and Christian Groh (April 12).

Stronk went 3-0 singles play and teamed up with Dickhardt to post a 2-1 mark in doubles competition, lifting SDSU to consecutive victories last weekend over conference rivals New Mexico, Brigham Young and No. 33 TCU. With the sweep, the Aztecs (14-7, 6-0 MWC) captured the MWC regular season crown for the second year in a row.

Against the Lobos on Friday, Stronk was one of five Aztecs to record wins in singles competition, upending Graeme Kassautzki, 6-4, 7-6(0), at the No. 3 position, which propelled SDSU to a 5-2 triumph. Earlier in the contest, he and Dickhardt combined to dispose of Max Jones and Kamil Pajkowski, 8-4, at the No. 1 doubles spot.

The following day, Stronk knocked off BYU's Dominik Kaufhold, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, in a three-set extravaganza, which secured a hard-fought 4-3 victory and kept the Aztecs' title hopes alive.

Stronk also played an instrumental role in the decisive showdown with the Horned Frogs on Sunday. He and Dickhardt joined forces at No. 1 doubles to defeat TCU's 48th-ranked pairing of Rafael Abreu and Jordan Freitas, 8-4, which clinched the crucial doubles point for SDSU. Later in singles play, Stronk was the first Aztec off the court after pinning a 6-2, 6-1 defeat on Cosmin Cotet, helping SDSU to a 4-3 upset.

The doubles team of Stronk and Dickhardt climbed to 19th in the latest ITA poll on the strength of their 13-4 record, including a 12-3 mark in dual-match competition. The duo is also a perfect 4-0 against ranked opposition this season.

The 51st-ranked Aztecs will be back in action Friday, April 28, at 2 p.m., when they compete in the MWC Tennis Championships at Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. SDSU, the top seed in the tournament, received a first-round bye and will face the winner of the Utah-New Mexico match.