It was a big year for IMG Academy alumnus Sem Verbeek, who signed with the University of the Pacific prior to graduation in 2012. Since then, Verbeek emerged as the No. 1 singles player for the Pacific Tigers and earned top honor this week when it was announced that he was named Big West Conference Freshmen of the Year.
From the 2013 Men's Tennis All-Conference Release:
"Cal Poly senior Andre Dome earned his second straight Big West Player of the Year award to highlight the announcement of the 2013 men's tennis team. Pacific received the other two top awards with Sem Verbeek being selected Freshman of the Year and Ryan Redondo Coach of the Year.
Dome is the first individual since UC Santa Barbara's Carlos Palencia in 2002 and 2003 to garner back-to-back Player of the Year recognition. With two victories at the Big West Tournament last weekend, Dome extended his win streak to 19 consecutive singles matches with all but two coming in straight sets. Dome, who is currently ranked No. 29 nationally in singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, earned his most impressive victory of the season on March 17 when he defeated the nation's fourth-ranked player, Matija Pecotic of Princeton, 6-2, 6-2. The victory represented the second straight season Dome defeated Pecotic in a dual match. Dome also downed No. 92 Ben Davis of Middle Tennessee State on March 11. The Arroyo Grande, Calif. native also went 8-0 against Big West opponents as he collected All-Big West First Team honors for the fourth time in his illustrious Cal Poly career.
Verbeek joined David Gonzalez as the second player in Pacific history – and first since 2008 – to be named the conference's top freshman perfomer. The native of Amsterdam, The Netherlands progressed up the ladder as his success continued during the season, eventually becoming Pacific's No. 1 singles player. He posted an overall mark of 13-8 in singles and enjoyed a stretch where he won five straight and eight of nine matches. Verbeek went 3-4 at No. 1, 6-3 at No. 2, 1-1 at No. 3 and 3-0 at No. 4 as he helped the Tigers to a 16-9 overall record. He also clinched three 4-3 victories for Pacific with wins in the deciding singles match against Loyola Marymount, San Francisco and Saint Mary's.
Redondo drastically improved the Pacific program this year as he ascended to the top coaching honor. He joined David Vande Pol (1993) and Guido Baumann (2001, 2004, 2005, 2008) on the list of Tiger mentors to receive the award. After finishing 8-15 in 2012, the Tigers bettered their win total by eight, finishing 16-9 overall in 2013. Redondo's Tigers entered the national rankings at No. 66 on March 12 and stayed in the ITA poll for the majority of the season's final two months. He led the Tigers to a 4-2 mark in Big West play, tying for third place, and guided them to the championship match of the Big West Tournament as the No. 3 seed. Redondo also coached Pacific to a victory over No. 60 Santa Clara on March 9."