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June 21, 2012

Men's Tennis Athlete of the Year

By: Jimmy Robertson

Luke Somen | Senior | Karlovac, Croatia

Luka Somen’s terrific tennis career came to an end at the NCAA Championships, and those in the know about the sport of tennis realize that he will be missed.

Somen capped his career at Tech by being selected as one of 64 singles players to participate at the NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships held in Athens, Ga., in late May. The bid marked Somen’s second straight as an at-large selection to the national field, and he became the fifth player in Tech history to be a two-time qualifier (Yoann Re, Andreas Laulund, Aaron Marchetti and Oliver Mayo). He advanced to the round of 32 before being ousted by 11th-ranked Wil Spencer of Georgia by a score of 6-4, 7-5.

Somen compiled a 30-11 overall record this past season, including a 16-7 mark in the No. 1 spot during spring duals. He posted an 11-9 record against ranked opponents, and received the ACC’s Player of the Week nod in early April after beating three ranked opponents – VCU’s Alexis Heugas (No. 74), Georgia Tech’s Kevin King (No. 11) and Clemson’s Yannick Maden (No. 65).

For the third straight season, he earned All-ACC honors, and after the season, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association named him its Senior of the Year for the Atlantic Region.

For his career, Somen won 102 singles matches and 75 doubles matches. He also led the Hokies to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships all four years. Tech, which has made it to the Championships for the past six years, lost to No. 23 Harvard in the first round this past season.