LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Zachary Kuo was one of the most successful players in the decade for the Bellarmine University men’s tennis team and the benefits of that standout career have continued.
Kuo, who played for the Knights from 2013-17, was voted Bellarmine Player of the Decade for Men’s Tennis in an online poll.
“It’s nice,” Kuo said. “Bellarmine is a melting pot of cultures and ideas. There is a lot of diversity among the teachers, staff and students, which provides for a welcoming environment for all peoples. The tennis team reflected this and made my time with them time well spent. I learned a lot from everyone I met there and enjoyed my time at Bellarmine.”
Since 2006, Kuo is tied for second on the program’s all-time wins list with 89. The native of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, is the leader in doubles wins with 49 and is fourth in singles victories with 40. Kuo and Jose Legarreta were a dangerous doubles duo, amassing 46 wins together, easily the most of any doubles pairing in the decade. They bonded instantly, going 13-3 together primarily at No. 2 as freshmen, including 5-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, and closed 17-9 as seniors at No. 1.
“Jose is a great doubles partner who really understands the game of tennis and doubles,” Kuo said. “His play was always strong and I knew I could rely on him to be solid in a close match. Jose brought a lot of energy to the court, which energized the whole team.”
Kuo capped his career with his best season, earning All-GLVC accolades as a senior. The Saint Xavier (Ky.) High School product accumulated 33 wins, the second most in a single season since 2006. He went 16-10 in singles play, including 14-6 at No. 2, in addition to his 17 doubles victories.
“As a local product, Zachary came to Bellarmine with a ton of talent, and he worked extremely hard at practice so his game kept improving,” said the recently retired John Mican, the former longtime Knights coach who directed both the men’s and women’s teams for several years. “His integrity during matches was unsurpassed. His excellent volley technique made him a force at the net and as a doubles player.
“Zachary was also a leader by example. He took his tennis very serious but also displayed a strong love of the sport and enjoyed competing.”
That was particularly evident during his award-winning senior season.
“Like every year, I played to the best of my abilities,” Kuo said. “Things seemed to go our way senior year in doubles and singles. Playing a team sport is great. The best parts are when you get to cheer on and root for your team. Over the course of four years, our play improved culminating in a solid final season.”
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