SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Mar. 18, 2011) - After getting off to a strong start by winning the doubles point, the ETSU men's tennis team could not fend off No. 20 San Diego in singles play as the Toreros earned a tough 4-3 victory, Friday afternoon at the Aztec Tennis Center in round two of the Hilton Mission Valley Spring Classic.
"The guys fought extremely hard against a tough team" said ETSU Director of Tennis Yaser Zaatini. "The guys fought with all they had and they should be proud, but they are heartbroken for getting so close and coming up just short. I think this will make us stronger and we will have to pick ourselves up because we have to play again tomorrow."
San Diego got out to the quick start by winning at No. 3 doubles, but the Bucs (9-6) picked up a tough win at No. 2 as Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) defeated Clarke Spinosa and Thibaut Visy, 9-7. Then, the Bucs picked up a crucial victory at the No. 1 position when seniors Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) and Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillaume, France) defeated Nikola Bubnic and Nils Schive, 8-6, to clinch the doubles point and put ETSU up 1-0.
The Bucs rode the momentum from doubles play into singles play as Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium) earned a quick 6-3, 6-3 victory over Schive at the No. 6 position to put the Bucs in front 2-0.
The Toreros won the next three matches to move in front 3-2, with just two matches still in progress. USD won at No. 2, No. 3, and No. 1.
The see-saw battle continued as the Bucs knotted the match back up after Bottoni knocked off Emilio Mora, 6-7 (7), 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 5 spot.
The match would come down to the No. 4 position with ETSU's Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) and San Diego's Visy battling it out. Visy took a hard fought first set by a slim 7-6 score, but Ramirez forced a third set by winning the second, 6-4. However, Visy was able to hang on in set number three, 6-4, to clinch the match for the Toreros.
San Diego moves to 13-2 on the season after the victory, while earning its 10th consecutive victory. The Bucs, meanwhile, snapped a five-match winning streak.
"I am just proud of the effort the guys put forth because it was extremely gratifying but at the same time sad," added Zaatini. "But that is what happens when you play sports, you win and lose, and we lost with pride today. Again, I thought we played extremely well."
ETSU moves on to face the loser of the Purdue/SDSU match at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) in the third place match at SDSU. The Toreros will face the winner of the Purdue and San Diego State match for the championship, taking place Friday afternoon on Saturday, March 19th at the Aztec Tennis Center at SDSU at 5:00 p.m. (EDT)
For more information on the ETSU men's tennis team please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's tennis link. Also, be sure to follow ETSU Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.
#20 San Diego 4, ETSU 3
(1) Teraz/Bottoni (ETSU) def. Bubnic/Schive (USD) 8-6
(2) Gille/Bandres (ETSU) def. Spinosa/Visy (USD) 9-7
(3) Jackson/Mora (USD) def. Ramirez/Akser (ETSU) 8-5
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
ETSU wins doubles point.
(1) #30 Dean Jackson (USD) def. Grega Teraz (ETSU) 6-4, 7-5
(2) Nikola Bubnic (USD) def. Sander Gille (ETSU) 7-6(2), 6-4
(3) #83 Clarke Spinosa (USD) def. Jesus Bandres (ETSU) 6-4, 6-3
(4) Thibaut Visy (USD) def. Juan Ramirez (ETSU) 7-6(0), 4-6, 6-4
(5) Charles Bottoni (ETSU) def. Emilio Mora (USD) 6-7(7), 6-1, 6-1
(6) Jeremy Bonnevalle (ETSU) def. Nils Schive (USD) 6-3, 6-3
Order of finish: 6, 2, 1, 3, 5, 4*
San Diego: 13-2