University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's tennis student-athlete Roberto Vieira (Bedfordview, South Africa) was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year today. Vieira led the team with a 14-7 overall record and was 5-4 in Southern Conference action.
Vieira only played in a pair of matches in the fall, winning both to start his collegiate career. He began the spring season filling the No. 2 slot for the Mocs. However, after Vieira posted a 4-5 record in singles play, head coach Carlos Garcia shook up the line up and moved Vieira up to the No. 1 position.
The move paid off as Vieira went 8-2 in the top spot for the rest of the season. As a team, the Mocs posted four of their five wins in the last nine matches of the year. Vieira finished on a season-high six-match winning streak and a 5-4 record in SoCon action.
Along with his Freshman of the Year recognition, Vieira was also named to the All-SoCon First Team and was placed on the SoCon All-Freshman squad. It is the first time a Moc earned Freshman of the Year honors since Jason Ontog in 2001. It is the third consecutive year a UTC men's tennis player made the All-SoCon team for singles play.
"I am very excited for Roberto and our program," stated Garcia. "He had a very good year as a freshman and fought hard throughout the season. He responded well when he was moved up to No. 1 and I am excited to see what he can accomplish over the next three years."
Vieira is a native of Bedfordview, South Africa and plans to major in Mechanical Engineering at UTC. With Lady Mocs freshman Jenna Nurik also being named SoCon Freshman of the Year, the UTC tennis programs swept the SoCon freshman honors for the second time (2001) in school history.