ATHENS, Ga. (September 19, 2008) -Facing some of the top teams in the nation, the ETSU men's tennis team had a powerful opening day at the 41st Annual Southern Intercollegiate Championships, in Athens, Ga.
The Bucs opened day one singles play as freshman Sander Gille won his opening match against
"I don't think Sander played as well as he did last week, but the most important thing is he found a way to win," said head coach Yaser Zaatini. "The weather conditions were very windy this morning and that made things more difficult as this match went on. However, at the end of the day he won his match and that's something he can be proud of."
Also for the Bucs junior newcomer Grega Teraz (
"I thought Grega battled hard today," said Zaatini. "The player from Virginia Tech has a style that is hard to play against and I believe that was the difference in the match. With Grega being a new player for us, I think at times he's pushing and trying to prove himself almost too much. He's a good tennis player and he needs to relax a little more and let things come to him."
Also in the Division I bracket sophomore Sergio Valez (Medlin,
"This was a unique matchup for Sergio," said Zaatini. "Both him and Thomas grew up playing against one another. It was special to watch both of them square off this afternoon. Again this was a tough match for out team, but I thought Sergio did a great job staying with his points and that was the biggest difference in getting this win."
One of the most competitive matches for the Bucs on Friday, was between sophomore Matej Ztatkovic (
"Out of all our players, I feel the worst for Matej," said Zaatini. "To be within one point of winning the match and then have some shots that wouldn't fall was frustrating to watch. I think Matej is a great player for us and hopefully he can regain some confidence and rebound tomorrow."
No. 31st ranked senior Enrique Olivares (
"Riveroll is a good conference opponent to open the tournament with for Enrique," said Zaatini. "He played the No. 3 position for them last season. That being said Enrique did a great job with his forehand today. That's something he's worked hard out during the off-season and it paid off this afternoon."
Rounding out the Bucs singles scores was newcomer Charles Bottoni (
"Charles is still working on his conditioning early this season, but today's long match will help in that process," said Zaatini. "I'm proud of how he handled himself on the court today against a great opponent from
Day two of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships begins at 8:00 a.m., Saturday.