UH’s Andre Ilagan headed to 2022 NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championship

A University of Hawaii men’s tennis star is hoping to bring home the National title.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 4:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A University of Hawaii men’s tennis star is hoping to bring home the National title.

Andre Ilagan will be heading to the NCAA Men’s Singles Championship in Illinois.

“I’m excited to just represent the University of Hawaii and just this state period.” Ilagan told reporters. “I mean knowing that tennis hasn’t been the greatest here in the past few years and being able to be in this opportunity is just amazing.”

Ilagan is just the second Rainbow Warrior to make it to the NCAA men’s singles championship after the Farrington graduate wrapped up the Big West conference regular season as the top-ranked player in the league.

Racking up an individual record of 9-4 overall and 3-1 in conference to be named Big West player of the year and despite his success on the court, Ilagan feels more pride representing his school and is home as he is the only Hawaii born player on the roster.

“You know I’m the local kid here and the fact that I made it from Hawaii just shows we’ve got a lot of talent here in Hawaii and you know getting more respect from the mainland people and also from around the world as well.” Ilagan said.

During his tenure in the Green and Black, the former Gov’s previous successes put a target on his back as the man to beat.

“Growing up, my parents you know always like put a lot of pressure on me.” Ilagan said. “All that tough love just showed like in these big moments I can perform.”

Adding to the hype of this season was the ITA All-American Championships in the fall, where he went on a tear making it all the way to the semifinals. mowing down six nationally ranked players along the way.

He is currently the 40th ranked player in men’s collegiate tennis, something his coach Noel Kuznierz saw when his “diamond in the rough” first stepped foot on campus.

“Tremendous potential really great round strokes, A lot of power from both sides, but he needed to develop his understanding of how to play points, he needed to work on his transition game.” Head coach Kuznierz said. “But also having the belief that he can really perform well against the best players in the country, I think that’s the main thing, that was the key thing for him.”

The NCAA Singles Championship is set to start on May 23rd and no matter what happens, Ilagan is just happy to be playing the sport he loves.

“There are other people in the world that are struggling and I’m grateful to be in this position and just being able to play tennis.” Ilagan said.

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