Olivares becomes first A-Sun tennis player ranked in the ITA preseason top-10
Olivares
Olivares

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (January 6, 2009) - If you look at all the well-deserved accomplishments that ETSU men's tennis senior Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela) has earned over the past three seasons in Johnson City, none may be as big as the one the senior captain received on Tuesday afternoon.

 

After a remarkable fall season Olivares will start 2009 as the No. 9th ranked player in the country according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). This marks the first time in ITA history that an Atlantic Sun Conference player received a top-10 ranking. This also marks only the second time in school history that a Buccaneer player received a top-10 ranking by the ITA (current ETSU head coach Yaser Zaatini was ranked No. 4th in 1993).

 

"For Enrique to be ranked in the top-10 is something that I don't have words to describe," said Zaatini. "If you put this in perspective it's like someone being a top-10 draft pick in the NBA or NFL. There are hundreds of Division I men's tennis players in the country and one of the nations elite resides right here at ETSU."

 

After starting the fall season ranked No.31st Olivares put together a magic run, which included going 15-3 in singles play. In his final tournament of the fall the 2008 All-American outlasted 24 of the top ITA singles players at the prestigious ITA National Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va. Also during the fall campaign Olivares took top honors at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens, Ga., defeating preseason No. 4th ranked Bruno Agostinelli of Kentucky in the finals.

 

Additionally, notable opponents Olivares defeated during fall play include current preseason ranked No. 11 Michael Shabaz of Virginia, No. 18 Nate Schnugg of Georgia, No. 20th Brett Helgeson of Norte Dame, No. 29th Clint Bowles of Florida State and 2008 NCAA Singles Runner-up J.P. Smith of Tennessee.

 

"Just look at the level of the competition Enrique defeated tournament after tournament," said Zaatini. "When I look back at all the exciting matches he railed through it sends chills down my back. Here is a young man that ETSU and the Johnson City community can be so proud of. He's an outstanding student and leader and now you can add that he is ranked as one of the best college tennis players in the NCAA."

 

Over his career Olivares has received a number of accomplishments and awards, which include being named two-time A-Sun Tournament MVP and a three-time A-Sun First-team member. Also the ETSU senior was named the 2007-08 A-Sun Player of the Year, while earning his way to the NCAA Singles Championship Round of 16 a year ago.
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