Eremeev wins Maverick Award, Abdukhalikov named tennis team MVP


By Rob Schabert, Sports Information Director

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Junior Vasily Eremeev received the Johnny Donnelly Maverick Award and senior Syrym Abdukhalikov was named the team's Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year as the Tennessee Tech tennis team gathered Thursday for it's annual post-season awards picnic.

John and Marty Donnelly, who established the Maverick Award in 1999, were at the event to present the award named in memory of their late son, Tech Sports Hall of Fame member Johnny Donnelly.

"The Maverick Award is given for determination," said John Donnelly. "One of the former recipients of this award recently passed away. His name was Heath. He didn't play a lot, but he received the award for his support of his teammates and how much determination he showed. It's an honor and privelege this year to present the award to Vasily."

A junior from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Eremeev (photo at top right) earned second-team all-OVC honors. He posted an overall singles record of 20-12 this year, including a perfect 8-0 record in OVC matches and a 10-4 mark in tournament play. He ended the year on a nine-match winning streak.

Eremeev compiled an 18-9 record in doubles matches, pairing with Artem Tarasov for a 15-7 record including a 7-1 effort in OVC matches. His 18-9 mark was the top record on the team in doubles play.

Doyle presented Abdukhalikov (left) with his second straight MVP award.

"Syrym has had a great spring, and he's probably one of the best players to have ever played here," Doyle said.

The senior from Almaty, Kazakhstan -- who will receive his degree Saturday during Tech's commencement -- was named the OVC Player of the Year and first-team all-OVC while playing the key role in Tech's unbeaten run to the OVC regular season championship.

Abdukhailikov went 9-0 in league play and 14-2 overall at the No. 1 singles spot, winning every singles match after March 20. He teamed up with Alejandro Augusto to post a 9-0 league mark and a 10-6 overall record at the No. 1 doubles spot.

Doyle also recognized the team's two outgoing seniors (left), including Abdukhalikov and Arturo Santa Ruiz, from Bogota, Colombia. The pair received plaques in recogntion of their Golden Eagle experiences.