Men’s tennis player Mauricio Antun may not have began his collegiate career at Belmont, but he has experienced great success in his time as a Bruin.
Antun, a senior from Sao Paolo, Brazil, transferred to Belmont from Virginia Tech after his sophomore season and became one of Belmont’s top performers soon after. Antun decided to transfer after talking with his older brother, Renato, who played for the Bruins from 2008 to 2012.
“I wasn’t really happy with my situation there and so I talked to my brother,” said Antun. “He talked to Coach Madrigal about it and he was happy to help me. That was a major influence on me coming here.”
Antun’s debut season with Belmont proved to be very successful as he finished with a 21-9 singles record on the year and recorded 26 doubles wins.
“I wasn’t really confident in my tennis, but once I got here coach Madrigal and coach Baker gave me all the support I needed,” said Antun. “I think they gave me the confidence I needed to play my best game and I think I did that pretty well throughout the season.”
Antun’s performance earned him the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year award. He is the first Belmont tennis player to win a conference player of the year award since the school moved to the Division I level.
“It’s a great honor. It reflects all of the work that you’ve been putting on,” said Antun. “It’s great to see that someone is recognizing you for what you have achieved.”
Of his 26 double wins during the season, 24 came came alongside classmate Marko Lovrinovic, who transferred from Virginia Tech with Antun.
“Mauricio recommended me and I am thankful for that,” said Lovrinovic. “The past two years have been the best of my college career.”
Antun and Lovrinovic roomed together during their freshman year at Virginia Tech and have remained friends ever since. The duo has combined for 36 doubles wins in its two years at Belmont.
“Mauricio is a reliable teammate. He is a good friend and is always eager to help,” said Lovrinovic.
Antun put together another impressive season in his senior year, leading the team in doubles victories and conference wins.
Antun ends his two years at Belmont with an overall singles record of 37-22 and a 17-2 record in conference play.
With his time as a college athlete now over, Antun is looking to finish his education at Belmont and is weighing his options for the future as he approaches graduation. Antun will be graduating in December with a degree in finance.
“I might stay with tennis for a bit, maybe spend some time teaching tennis,” said Antun. “I want to stay in the U.S. as long as I can.”
Antun believes that his time at Belmont has shaped the way that he views playing tennis.
“Tennis isn’t an individual sport,” said Antun. “Once you go to college, it’s all about the team and it changes your mindset. I think that helped me a lot to grow and I made good friends from all around the world.”
Photo courtesy: Belmont Athletics