Basham, Lima, Cox, Mathews honored by GSAC

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) Westmont head coach Mark Basham has been named the Golden State Athletic Conference Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year and senior Carlos Lima has been honored as the GSAC Most Outstanding Player of the Year. Bryan Cox, along with Lima, was named to the 2011 All-GSAC Men’s Tennis Team while Ilissa Mathews earned a spot on the 2011 All-GSAC Women’s Tennis Team.


Basham, in his second year at Westmont, will take the sixth-seeded Warriors to the NAIA National Tournament in Mobile, Alabama next week. After at first round bye, Westmont will play the winner of the first round game between #11 Shorter (Ga.) and Hastings (Neb.).


Basham has a career record of 23-15, playing in the highly competitive GSAC conference. This season, the Warriors tied with both Azusa Pacific and Point Loma Nazarene for second in the GSAC standings, with an overall record of 12-5 and a conference mark of 10-4.


“It is certainly a nice honor and it is humbling,” said Basham. “In my second year, I definitely feel like I am doing some things better this year than last year. I’ve made some adjustments in terms of knowing the players better and how to coach them and interact with them and understanding a little more about how dual matches work.”


Lima, a native of Porto Alegre, Brazil, played at number one singles and doubles, posting records of 11-5 and 11-4 respectively. At the 111th Ojai Invitational a week and one-half ago, Lima reached the finals of both the Independent College Division singles and doubles tournaments.


“It always feels good to be recognized for my hard work and all the effort I put forward on the court,” said Lima about the honor.


Lima transferred to Westmont for his junior and senior years after California Baptist dropped its men’s tennis program following the 2009 season.


“I like Westmont very much,” said Lima. “This school has been awesome. People here are very nice. I like the community. Santa Barbara is a wonderful city. I was able to finish my studies here and keep playing tennis at a high level.”


Cox was Lima’s doubles partner at Ojai and a semifinalist in the singles competition. The junior from Alamo, Calif. was 11-6 playing mostly at number two singles for the Warriors and 13-4 in doubles play, mostly at number one.


Mathews, a senior from Coto de Caza, Calif., posted a record of 8-11 as Westmont number one singles player on the women’s team. Mathews and Tara Yekrang tallied a 7-12 record at number one doubles. Mathews was also named the team’s Most Valuable Player.