Men’s tennis downed by No. 73 Drake, 6-1

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Bucs slide to 0-5 to start 2012 campaign

DES MOINES, Iowa. (Feb. 9, 2012) – The No. 74 ETSU men’s tennis team continued its early-season struggles, falling to No. 73 Drake 6-1 on Thursday inside the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.

“It’s so frustrating to have lost our way and belief to win,” Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. “We play well in spurts but can’t pull out a complete match, and I take full responsibility for our incapacity to get it together.

“We’re lacking fire, desire, motivation, and we are scared to lay in on the line. I know these men have a lot to give, and I know these Bucs are winners and I’m convinced that we’ll wake up before too long.”

ETSU (0-5) began the afternoon by falling in all three doubles matches. Junior Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) and sophomore Jorge Varon (Valencia Venezuela) were the first to fall victim to Drake (5-1), losing 8-2 to Jean Erasmus and Robin Goodman. Senior Sander GIlle (Kuringen, Belgium) and junior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela), along with senior Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) and senior Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium) soon followed suit, with each pairing falling 8-5 to give the Bulldogs the doubles sweep and a 1-0 match lead.

Bonnevalle and Ramirez found no better luck, each falling in straight sets with Goodman defeating Bonnevalle 6-3, 6-4 at No. 5 singles, and James McKie defeating Ramirez 6.2, 6-3 at the No. 3 spot.

With a 3-0 lead in the match, Drake needed just one more point to clinch its fifth win of the season, but was halted when Akser put the Bucs on the scoreboard by taking out Alen Salibasic 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. The win improved Akser to 5-5 overall, 1-1 in dual play, and 1-0 at No. 4 singles.

The comeback hopes didn’t last too long for ETSU, as Erasmus came back from a set down to defeat Bandres 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2 singles. The win locked up the match for Drake, and gave the Bulldogs their first win over a ranked team – while also being ranked – since 2008. 

The remaining two matches saw Gille fall to No. 51 Anis Ghorbel in a highly competitive 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) match, and Varon drop a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 decision to Ben Mullis.

The Bucs move on to play Denver on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb. at 2 p.m.

For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit and click on the tennis links.

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WCC NCAA South Regional Tallahassee, Fla.
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