Bucs improve to .500 after 0-8 start
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 31, 2012) – The No. 72 ETSU men’s tennis team remained atop of the Atlantic Sun Conference with a, 7-0, defeat of Belmont on Saturday at the Centennial Sportsplex.
With the win, ETSU (8-8, 6-0 A-Sun) has stormed all the way back from a 0-8 start to even its record at .500 for the first time this season. The Buccaneers also end the weekend as the Atlantic Sun’s only undefeated team, and have clinched a spot in the 2012 A-Sun Championship. Heading into Friday, Belmont (6-11, 3-2 A-Sun) also carried an unblemished conference record, but the Bruins have now lost two straight after being defeated by USC Upstate, 4-3, and ETSU.
“We had a great doubles performance and carried the momentum into singles,” Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. “We beat a solid Belmont team, and I don’t think the score represents their level of play. The match could have very easily gone either way. [Belmont] took it to us early, but we bounced back quickly.
“Overall, this was a solid weekend for the Bucs.”
Senior Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium) extended his team-leading winning streak to nine matches with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback against Fernando Mussolini, while Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium), Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) and Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) each moved their respective singles winning streaks to eight straight.
ETSU’s roster now carries a combined 32-2 singles record in A-Sun matches, dropping both of those points in the Bucs’ 4-3 win against North Florida.
The Bucs got the match rolling with their fourth doubles sweep of the season.
Gille and senior Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) remained ETSU’s top doubles pair with an 8-6 win against Renato Antun and Rafael Matos in the No. 1 match. The senior Belgian duo is now 7-2 through dual matches this spring including wins in its last three matches. Bonnevalle and Ramirez continued their success as well, winning their third straight doubles match at No. 2 with an 8-4 defeat of Rodrigo Amaral and Henrique Norbiato. At No. 3, Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) and Ribeiro played their third match together this spring and came away with an 8-4 win against Mussolini and Bruno Silva.
ETSU was pressured by the Bruins through singles action, but did not crack by taking all six points.
Gille, Bandres and Ramirez all won in straights sets at No. 1, 2 and 3 singles, respectively. Gille used a second set tiebreak to take down Norbiato 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), while Bandres and Ramirez won in more one-sided matches as Bandres defeated Antun 6-2, 6-0, and Ramirez defeated Armaral 6-1, 6-2.
Along with Bonnevalle, Ribeiro and sophomore Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) were taken to three sets. At No. 5 singles, Ribeiro defeated Silva 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, while at No. 6 Ordeig got past Matos by taking a second set tiebreak and a match tiebreak 5-7, 7-6 (10-8), 1-0 (10-8).
ETSU will step out of conference for its next match, when it battles Radford at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.
For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the tennis links.