MACOMB, Ill. - Fighting Leatherneck No. 1 singles and doubles player Patrick Hammers was named to the Men's Tennis All-Summit League Team for the second consecutive year as announced by The Summit League on Thursday (April 26). Team members are determined by the votes of conference head coaches.
The junior played to an overall record of 7-12 in the 2012 season with a Summit League record of 3-2. He tallied wins at No. 1 singles over top opponents at South Dakota State, Oral Roberts and IUPUI. As a sophomore, Hammers earned the honor after posting a 5-1 conference record at the No. 3 singles position.
"We have seen a steady progression in Patrick's game since he arrived at Western," head coach Chris Kane said. "His freshman year he played a lot at No. 5 singles, last year he was selected All-Summit League while playing No. 3 singles and winning something like 11 of his last 12 matches. This year, he embraced the challenge of playing No. 1 singles and the best players in college tennis each time out. It's quite an accomplishment for Patrick to be All-Summit League at No. 1 singles, as well as to repeat as an All-League performer."
Hammers recorded his first win of the 2012 season against Saint Louis defeating his opponent Joe Flanagan in a tight three set battle 6-2, 4-6, 10-5. He followed with a 6-0, 6-0 shut out victory over Colin Ladd of Illinois College, giving him the first of two, two-match win streaks.
The second streak came in back to back league matches. The Peru, Ill. native defeated SDSU's Justin Pyle in three sets 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 and Oral Roberts' Alvaro Gutierrez 6-2, 6-3. Hammers earned his third conference victory of the season against IUPUI's Nick Volz 6-2, 6-0. He fell just shy of tallying his fourth win against UMKC, taking Summit League Men's Tennis Player of the Year, Grant Fleming, to three sets before meeting defeat 6-1, 3-6, 1-10.
HEAD COACH CHRIS KANE ON PATRICK HAMMERS:
"There are a few reasons Pat has improved each year. First, he's learned
to hit the ball farther in front of him, generating more use of his
wrist and more topspin, and creating more angles. Technically, his
backhand, always his weakest shot, has improved tremendously. Thirdly,
mentally he's become a very tough out-specifically, only going for big
shots when the reward is high and the risk low, thus reducing his
"Pat is a great player due to the variety of his game. He can beat you a number of ways, with power, with spin, with his volley,or with his great court coverage. That's a bundle for an opponent to confront."