WALLA WALLA - Matt Solomon, a two-time Northwest Conference Player of the Year in men's tennis, is the 2010 winner of the R.V. Borleske Trophy, which is presented annually to the top male athlete at Whitman College.
The trophy, which is awarded by a vote of the Whitman coaching staff, recognizes athletic ability and accomplishments, leadership and sportsmanship qualities, and contributions to the campus as a whole.
Solomon, playing No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles, led Whitman to its third straight Northwest Conference title this spring, and to its fourth consecutive 16-0 NWC regular season.
Ranked No. 22 nationally in NCAA Division III, Whitman advanced to the national championship tournament for the fourth time in as many years. A loss in the regional semifinals to No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps ended Whitman's season with a 20-5 record.
Solomon, however, has as at least one more match left in his college career. He is one of 32 players from around the country invited to play in the NCAA DIII national singles tournament, slated for late this month in Oberlin, Ohio. He is the first Whitman player to make the singles tournament since Steven Ly in 2006.
Solomon got his senior year off to a strong start last September when he won his third straight singles titles at the ITA's Pacific Northwest Fall Tournament. Despite playing with a torn stomach muscle, he then split four matches at the national small college championships, placing seventh and earning ITA All-America honors in singles for a third time.
As a three-time winner of the ITA's PNW doubles title, Solomon is also a three-time ITA All-American in doubles.
Solomon was named NWC Player of the Week three times during the spring season. His latest Player-of-the-Year award, announced at the NWC post-season tournament in April, makes him only the second Whitman player to twice take home the honor.
Solomon, who earned All-NWC Second-Team honors as a freshman, was named NWC Player of the Year for the first time at the end of his sophomore season. He took a one-semester leave of absence from Whitman last spring and helped Boise State make the Round of 16 in the NCAA Division I team championships.
The Borleske Trophy honors Raymond V. Borleske, who achieved legendary status as an athlete and later as a coach at Whitman during the first half of the 20th century. He starred on Whitman's football and baseball teams, and he was the first football player from the Northwest to be recognized by Walter Camp's Spaulding Football Guide.
After graduating from Whitman and earning a law degree, Borleske returned to campus in 1915 to begin a coaching career that continued until 1947.