May 2, 2006
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CLEVELAND - 2006 Mid-American Conference Men's Tennis tournament champion Western Michigan placed a league-high three members to the All-MAC first-team, the conference office announced Tuesday morning after releasing the two All-MAC teams and specialty awards. Voting was conducted by the league's six head coaches following last weekend's tournament at the University of Toledo's Varsity Courts.
The Broncos' junior tandem of Brady Crosby and Tim Bradshaw, along with senior Jose Orozco, were all elected to the first-team. Orozco clinched WMU's fourth-ever NCAA Tournament appearance by knocking off Ball State's Tony Epkey, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, in the title claiming match at three singles Sunday.
Ball State had two individual players named to the All-MAC first-team. Senior Matt Baccarani was the league's top vote-getter with 71 points, garnering both first-team recognition and Player of the Year laurels. Junior Joe Epkey was also tabbed first-team. Epkey won at No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles in the championship match versus the Broncos.
Toledo freshman Mohammed Al Nabhani made up the six-member first-team. Al Nabhani and Tony Tran won at first doubles to secure the only Rocket victory in a semifinal setback to Western Michigan.
Second-team selections included Ball State seniors Tony Epkey and Patrick Thompson, Northern Illinois freshman Brian Livingston, and Toledo's Tran and freshman Jared Miller.
As mentioned, Player of the Year accolades went to Baccarani, who had a 14-5 regular season record as the Cardinals' number one singles player in 2006. His teammate, Tony Epkey, claimed the Jack Vredevelt Sportsmanship Award.
Livingston was tabbed Newcomer of the Year, while WMU mentor Dave Morin claimed Coach of the Year honors.
The Broncos' opponent in the first round of the NCAA Tournament will be announced Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNEWS.