Aulina, Blasco Earn C-USA Postseason Awards

GO KNIGHTS A year removed from a life-threatening car crash, Aulina picked up his first career postseason award.
A year removed from a life-threatening car crash, Aulina picked up his first career postseason award.

April 30, 2013

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By Mike Garabedian

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - Redshirt sophomore Francesc Aulina and senior Jorge Blasco of the UCF men's tennis team were each tabbed with postseason Conference USA awards Tuesday afternoon. Aulina was honored as the C-USA Newcomer of the Year, while Blasco was named second-team all-conference for the second-consecutive year.

After recovering from a life-threatening car crash that caused him to miss the entire 2012 spring season, Aulina earned UCF's first newcomer of the year award. The native of Spain had to battle numerous surgeries to repair a broken arm, hip, fibula, tibia, ruptured spleen and bum knee.

"Aulina brings an element of toughness to the team after overcoming a great deal of adversity the past year," UCF head coach Bobby Cashman said. "The fact that he put in hours of rehab and chose to come back to UCF shows the courage and attitude I want our team to personify. He leads by example."

The redshirt sophomore returned to post a team-best 13-5 singles record in 2013, which included victories over players from four nationally ranked schools. Aulina closed the season winning 10 of his last 12 matches, including a victory in his only C-USA Championship match to complete a three-match winning streak.

Blasco has registered an 11-9 singles mark in the spring, all at the No. 1 slot with two victories over nationally ranked opponents, No. 71 Derek Siddigui of No. 36 San Diego State and No. 96 Moritz Buerchner of UNF. The senior had a six-match winning streak, including a stretch where he won nine of 10 contests in February and March.

This marks the second postseason award for Blasco this season, after being named to the C-USA All-Academic Team April 16 for his impressive work (4.0 GPA) in the rigorous civil engineering master's program.

"Blasco has been a leader for our program the minute he stepped foot on this campus," Cashman added. "I have no doubt in my mind he will be successful and continue to do remarkable things in his future."

The senior from Spain has totaled 10 awards at UCF, including being a three-time recipient of the C-USA Commissioner's Academic medal, a three-time C-USA Academic Honor Roll winner and a 2012 ITA Scholar Athlete.

Aulina will turn his attention to next season and help UCF seek its first title in its inaugural season in the American Athletic Conference. Whereas, Blasco played his final match as a UCF student-athlete but will continue pursuing his master's degree in Civil Engineering.



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