June 4, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State men's tennis turned in one of its most impressive seasons in recent memory, making it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Three Spartans earned post-season awards, including freshman John Patrick Mullane being tabbed the Frank Beeman Most Valuable Player.
Celebrating 100 years of Spartan tennis and being selected for the NCAA Tournament made the season special.
Mullane, a native of White Lake, Mich., finished the year 21-9 in singles on the season and was 8-2 in Big Ten matches. At doubles, he compiled a 12-3 record with Drew Lied in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots.
"John Patrick had a break out freshman year," head coach Gene Orlando said. "He's a fierce competitor and when it was game time he was a player we could count on for a win."
It marks the second time that Lied has been awarded the Most Improved Player. He also took home the honor after his freshman season in 2011.
This season he was second-team All-Big Ten and went 16-16 overall, 7-4 Big Ten. He teamed up with Mullane to give the Spartans 12 wins in doubles.
"Drew made a quantum leap with his game this season," Orlando said. "Playing No. 5 singles as a sophomore to playing No. 2 singles this year, his work ethic and determination was the difference maker."
The Spartan Spirit Award went to freshman Paul Heeder. He went 0-4 in singles but proved to be a critical component of the team down the stretch.
"Paul earned his way on the team as a walk-on this past fall," Orlando said. "His work ethic, positivity and team first attitude was infectious. When it was game day no one paroled the courts supporting his teammates and making his presence felt like him."