ETSU set to host 2013 A-Sun Tennis Championships

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Men in search of seventh consecutive title, Lady Bucs top seed

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 18, 2013) – The ETSU men’s and women’s tennis teams host the 2013 Atlantic Sun Championships from the newly built ETSU Tennis Complex this Friday-Sunday.

The quarterfinals begin Friday with the women serving up the festivities at 9 a.m., as No. 4 seed Stetson takes on No. 5 Florida Gulf Coast. No. 3 USC Upstate and No. 6 Kennesaw State then determine the last of the women’s semifinals at 11:30 a.m.

ETSU (13-5, 8-0 A-Sun) earned the No. 1 seed by going undefeated in conference play and takes on the winner of Stetson and FGCU in Saturday’s semifinals at 9 a.m. The victor between Upstate and KSU battles No. 2 North Florida later that morning at around 11:30.

The women’s final is Sunday at 10 a.m.

On the men’s side, No. 4 seed FGCU and No. 5 USC Upstate get underway Friday at 2:30 p.m. The day’s last quarterfinal features No. 3 Stetson and No. 6 Lipscomb, beginning at 5 p.m.

The ETSU men (11-6, 7-1 A-Sun) secured the No. 2 seed and a bye to Saturday’s semifinals, and begin play at 2:30 p.m., against the winner of Stetson and Lipscomb. North Florida earned the No. 1 seed by going undefeated during the regular season, and will take on the winner between Upstate and FGCU.

The men’s final is Sunday at 1 p.m., or following the conclusion of the women’s championship.

Live stats for all matches of the men’s and women’s championships will be provided by Stat Broadcast by logging onto AtlanticSun.org. Links to the stats for ETSU’s matches will also be available on ETSUBucs.com.

Women’s Championship Preview

The Lady Buccaneers have won two of the last four A-Sun Tournament Championships, taking home the title in 2009 and ’11. Last year, they met North Florida in the finals – the third consecutive meeting between the two sides to determine the title – and fell, 4-2, from the Bristol Racquet Club.

This 2013 ETSU squad has a completely different look, but those who return from last year will not soon forget the conclusion of the 2012 season. ETSU got some revenge by downing the Ospreys, 4-0, in Johnson City during the regular season, but know there is still a lot of work to be done in order to bring home a third title in five years.

The labor begins Saturday in the semifinals, where the Lady Buccaneers await either Stetson of FGCU. In the regular season, ETSU defeated the Hatters, 7-0, and the Eagles, 5-2, on the road. The three-point differential to FGCU was ETSU’s closest margin of victory on the entire conference season, losing the No. 5 and No. 6 singles matches to surrender the two points.

The top half of the Lady Buc lineup has been nearly impenetrable, which includes A-Sun Freshman of the Year and First Team A-Sun selection Lyn Yee Choo (Kuching, Malaysia) , who has won her last 15 matches and carries a record of 30-7, 17-1 dual, 8-0 A-Sun. Choo’s 30-win campaign makes her just the second Lady Buccaneer in program history to achieve 30 victories, and she is two from tying Sandie Knight (32-9) for the single-season wins record.

First Team All-Atlantic Sun selection Antonia Kolovou (Larisa, Greece) plays the top spot and enters the championship weekend 22-11, 14-3 dual and 7-1 in conference play. The senior is 12-2 in the No. 1 singles spot, with her only blemish in conference play coming in the finale to KSU’s Virginie Stein.

Another first team member, junior Giulia Andreazza (Balneario Camboriu, Brazil), is expected to play the No. 2, where she is 8-1 on the spring. Andreazza went 9-6 in dual play and 6-1 through the conference season, and is one of just three Lady Bucs who return having played in last year’s championship – Jessica Brumit (Elizabethon, Tenn.) and Kelsey Williams (Sunbury, Australia).

In the No. 4 hole has been freshman Anna Gerbasi (Caracas, Venezuela), who went 7-1 on the spot over the spring and enter the weekend 20-9 overall, 11-4 dual, 7-0 A-Sun. Gerbasi also pairs with Choo to makeup ETSU’s top doubles team (24-8, 14-2 dual, 8-0 A-Sun), which ranks No. 63 in the latest ITA National Doubles Rankings.

Rounding out the lineup are A-Sun second team member Sofia Espana (Mexico City), Salma Dahbi (Marrakech, Morocco), Brumit and Williams. The four have split time at the No. 5 and 6, which plays a crucial role in deciding some matches. As ETSU remembers, last year’s final came down to those two matches, where UNF prevailed.

Men’s Championship Preview

The quest for a seventh consecutive Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship begins Saturday for the Buccaneers, where they meet either Stetson or Lipscomb. The second-seeded Buccaneers have won their last five conference matches by scores of 7-0, one of which came against the Bisons. Stetson was the last team to not get swept by ETSU, 6-1, in DeLand.

Unlike the Lady Bucs, the ETSU men return many members from last year’s championship team; however, the Bucs are not as deep as that squad having lost three starters while securing no additions.

Still, ETSU does bring back the 2012 A-Sun Tournament MVP in Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela), who has played the No. 1 spot all spring with a record of 13-3 and 7-1 in the A-Sun. Bandres carries a seven-match winning streak into the tournament, which includes time among the ITA’s nationally ranked singles players having achieved a mark of No. 120 some two weeks ago. Wednesday, Bandres earned First Team All-Atlantic Sun honors for the second year in a row.

The likely No. 2 singles starter is ETSU’s other first teamer, Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil), accumulating a team-best record of 27-11 on the 2012-13 campaign, with a 12-4 posting over the spring and an undefeated 8-0 mark in A-Sun play. Ribeiro has played all 16 of his spring matches at the No. 2 and rides the Bucs’ longest active winning streak of nine matches.

Bandres and Ribeiro also pair to make up ETSU’s top doubles team. The two went 8-0 in conference play, earning second team doubles honors, and have won their last nine contests.

In the No. 3 spot could be Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) who is 7-0 at the position, having played his last seven matches on court three. The A-Sun second team singles selection went 21-9 through the fall and spring, including a 13-4 dual mark and 7-1 A-Sun posting.

At No. 4 has been junior Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela), who is 5-1 since making the transition with a five-match winning streak. Varon went 5-3 on the A-Sun season and pairs with Ramirez at No. 2 doubles.

The No. 5 and 6 spots have been set fairly the same all season long as well, putting junior Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) on court five and redshirt freshman Ricardo Pabon (Bogota, Columbia) on court six. The two earned Second Team All-Atlantic Sun selections on Wednesday in both singles and as a doubles pair. Ordeig had an impressive record of 23-12 through the fall and spring, 11-5 dual and a perfect 8-0 in A-Sun action. Meanwhile, the first-year starter Pabon – a member of the A-Sun All-Freshman Team – was 17-9 overall, 9-5 dual and stayed flawless 7-0 in conference action. The two went 6-2 on the A-Sun season in doubles.

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For more information on ETSU men’s tennis, please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.

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