Espindola, Aulina Honored by The American

May 1, 2014

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By Dan Forcella

PROVIDENCE, R.I. ( – Francesc Aulina and Inaki Espindola were honored by the American Athletic Conference with post-season awards on Thursday, as announced by the league office. 

“I'm very proud of the way Kiku (Aulina) and Iñaki handled themselves throughout the spring season,” Head Coach Bobby Cashman said. “They both competed every day in practice and that showed during dual match play this season.”

Aulina was one of seven student-athletes to earn all-conference honors for singles play by the conference.  He recorded the best singles record for UCF as a junior, going 14-5 on the season. Playing most of the campaign at the number three position, he was almost unbeatable, going 9-1 at the spot.

The junior won six straight singles matches in the middle of the year, including wins against nationally ranked #64 Buffalo and #27 Penn State. He also won in singles play against #55 Miami and #68 Georgia State.

Espindola garnered Freshman of the Year accolades from The American going 14-6 as in singles play. The freshman played most of the campaign at number four and five singles, going 13-4. Espindola had a seven-match unbeaten streak through the middle of the season, which included victories over #68 Georgia State, #64 Buffalo, and #27 Penn State.

His three-set wins against Georgia State and Troy clinched victories for the Knights. Espindola also excelled in doubles in his first season with the Knights, going 11-4 overall in 2014.  He is the fourth Knight to earn conference Freshman of the Year honors, joining Gabriel Strangberg (2001), Ener Gursoy (2003), and Brock Sakey (2006) before him.

American Athletic Conference Player of the Year
Roberto Cid, So., USF * 

American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year
Inaki Espindola, UCF 

American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year
Matt Hill, USF 

All-Conference Team
Francesc Aulina, Jr., UCF
Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, Jr., Louisville
Connor Glennon, Jr., Memphis
Joe Salisbury, Sr., Memphis
Arturs Kazijevs, Jr., SMU *
Roberto Cid, So., USF *
Oliver Pramming, Jr., USF 

Roberto Cid, So., USF
Sasha Gozun, Fr., USF *
Mischa Nowicki, Sr., SMU
David O'Hare, Sr., Memphis *
Joe Salisbury, Sr., Memphis
Chris Simich, Jr., Louisville
Albert Wagner, Jr., Louisville 

* unanimous selection



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