TylerZink

Georgia freshman Tyler Zink advanced to the U.S. Open Junior doubles final on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. 

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association honored freshman Bulldog Tyler Zink as its southeast regional Rookie of the Year on Monday.

Consisting of 1,700 collegiate coaches, the ITA produces various post season tournaments separate from the NCAA Championships and maintains rankings for college programs and athletes from junior colleges through NCAA Division I.

Each year, the association bestows various national and regional awards to athletes for their performance, leadership or community service.

Zink was one of 98 Division I men’s tennis competitors recognized by the ITA in 2020 across its 12 regions.

The freshman out of Bradenton, Florida, held his own at the No. 2 and 3 singles spots. He was twice named SEC Freshman of the Week and worked his way up to a national ranking of No. 80 by the time the season ended on March 12.

“He was in the midst of a very special season and played an important role in nearly all the big wins we had,” men’s tennis head coach Manuel Diaz said.

Zink dropped one match in his first seven starts, finishing 9-4 overall in singles play.

Against 10th-ranked Tennessee, one of the team’s toughest opponents of the season, Zink closed out the match with a decisive 6-0 set to secure the victory for the Bulldogs.

Partnered in doubles with sophomore Trent Bryde, the duo posted an 8-2 record, including a statement win against the No. 3 ranked Ohio State tandem of John McNally and Robert Cash. The pair was named men’s doubles All-Americans by the ITA at the end of April.

Zink was an integral piece to a young Georgia lineup that seemed nearly unstoppable prior to the season’s premature ending. The team went undefeated in SEC play and enjoyed a six-match win streak to close out the season.

“Tyler is the complete package and mature beyond his years,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. I can’t wait to see what’s next for him over the next three seasons.”

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