Duke was rewarded for a historic season Monday.
Head coach Ramsey Smith was given the ACC Coach of the Year award and freshman Pedro Rodenas earned ACC Rookie of the Year, the conference announced. In addition, Rodenas and senior Garrett Johns were selected to the All-ACC doubles first team, with Rodenas also given All-ACC singles second team distinction and Johns earning All-ACC singles first team recognition. This comes on the heels of an ACC tournament finals appearance and a program-record 11-win ACC slate.
Smith, in his 15th year with the program, led the Blue Devils to a record of 248-129 in his first 14 seasons, but this was his first Coach of the Year honor.
Rodenas has been remarkable in his first year with Duke, beginning at No. 3 singles but working his way up to No. 2 by the end of the season. He is the first Blue Devil to win Rookie of the Year since Henrique Cunha in 2010.
“I’m running out of things to say about Pedro,” said Smith after Rodenas won his 10th-straight match April 24. “ I think this tournament put him in the NCAA tournament, which is exciting because he deserves to be there.”
The Madrid, Spain, native leads the team with 29 total singles wins, including winning 15 of his past 16 matches. He placed on the second-team All-ACC singles list, while Johns, Duke’s top-ranked singles player, was unanimously named to the first-team. This represented Johns’ third-career All-ACC selection, and after a very successful fall, the Atlanta native has backed it up this spring, finishing the season ranked No. 11 in the country.
On the doubles side, Johns and Rodenas have been the Blue Devils’ best doubles team all year, currently ranked No. 24 nationally. The tandem have only lost one match in their past 18, a key part of Duke’s late-season success.
After a strong finish to the season, the Blue Devils are expected to host in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The draw will be released Monday at 6:30 p.m.
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Ranjan Jindal is a Trinity first-year and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.