Men’s Tennis heads to Des Moines to take on No. 73 Drake

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Bucs head to Iowa’s capital for first of three matches in central plains

DES MOINES, Iowa. (Feb. 8, 2012) – The No. 74 ETSU men’s tennis team travels to the central plains and the capital city of Des Moines on Thursday to take on No. 73 Drake inside the Roger Knapp Tennis Center at noon (EDT).

ETSU (0-4) has gotten off to a rough start in 2012, still in search of its first win after kicking off the season with four currently ITA-ranked teams. The five-time defending Atlantic Sun Tournament champions started the season in Lexington, Ky., but fell by a score of 4-1 to then-No. 22 Tulsa before dropping a 4-0 decision to then-No. 57 NC State. The following weekend, the Bucs traveled to Atlanta to take on Georgia State – currently ranked No. 71 after falling out of the polls for a week – but were knocked off 5-2, before heading to Athens, Ga. and falling to No. 4 Georgia 6-1.

Against Georgia, sophomore Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela) defeated Campbell Johnson, the No. 101 ITA-ranked men’s singles player, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9). The win was Varon’s first of 2012 in his first match to put him at 1-0 in dual play, while Johnson’s loss was the first Georgia had suffered all season. In their previous three matches against then-No. 66 Clemson, then-No. 51 TCU and then-No. 34 Virginia Tech, Georgia earned 7-0 sweeps. Varon’s win also eliminated UGA’s 23-match singles winning streak.

Drake (4-1) dropped three spots from No. 70 in last week’s poll, albeit without dropping a single point the entire week. The Bulldogs earned 7-0 home sweeps against both Western Illinois and Chicago State, and did not lose a single set along the way. In its opening weekend, Drake took out Denver 4-1 and then No. 66 DePaul 4-2, but lost a 4-1 match to then-No. 73 Harvard in-between.

Junior Anis Ghorbel enters Thursday as the No. 51-ranked ITA men’s singles player for Drake. The Tunisian went 8-2 through singles play during the fall and reached the main draw finals at the ITA Central Regional – becoming just the third Bulldog to do so. Ghorbel is 2-0 in the spring, having defeated DePaul’s George Chanturia and Harvard’s Jonathan Pearlman at the No. 1 position.

ETSU and Drake last met on Mar. 10, 2007, when then-No. 53 Drake defeated then-No. 48 ETSU 5-2 in Lincoln, Neb.

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