April 30, 2013
IRVING, Texas - East Carolina junior Joran Vliegen has been named First-Team All-Conference USA by league's nine head coaches according to an announcement from it on Tuesday, becoming the first ECU men's tennis player to garner All-Conference USA First-Team honors.
"It's a very special reward for me," Vliegen said. "It means I've been successful and that I've done well this season. It probably means more to me than some other people."
Vliegen posted a 19-2 record at No. 1 singles this season. He opened the year by winning 17 straight matches, including 25 consecutive sets. The native Belgian won 17 matches in straight sets and compiled a 2-1 record against ranked opponents.
"What Joran did this year was incredible," ECU Head Coach Shawn Heinchon stated. "To go 19-2 in singles at the top spot is just something that does not happen. There is no question that his tennis was amazing all spring, but his leadership for us as a team was equally impressive."
"I went to practice every day trying to get better," Vliegen said. "I just played my heart out every match and the results came. I didn't think about having a winning or losing record. I just went match by match."
Vliegen along with freshman doubles partner Colin Roller received first-team all-conference doubles honors. The duo went undefeated at the No. 1 position, posting a 17-0 record and receiving a top 60 national ranking.
"It was unbelievable when I think back on it," Vliegen said. "Colin plays like an upperclassman on the court. He's a tall guy like me with a big serve. In doubles, it's important to keep your serve and we just focused on doing that. Even when we got down, we didn't lose focus and I think that was key to our success."