ETSU challenges No. 8 Georgia but falls, 5-2
Bandres (above) earned a victory over No. 21 Nathan Pasha, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 1-0 (12-10).
Bandres (above) earned a victory over No. 21 Nathan Pasha, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 1-0 (12-10).

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bandres def. No. 21 Nathan Pasha

ATHENS, Ga. (Feb. 25, 2013) – The ETSU men’s tennis went up against No. 8 Georgia at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on Monday afternoon and gave the Bulldogs a real test, ultimately falling, 5-2.

Senior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) had one of the biggest wins of his career, defeating the No. 21 singles player in the ITA, Nathan Pasha, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 1-0 (12-10). ETSU’s (4-4) other point came at No. 6 singles, where sophomore Ricardo Pabon (Bogota, Columbia) defeated UGA’s (7-3) Eric Diaz in three sets, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Though the Bucs fought, some missed opportunities prevented them from potentially taking the match. Ahead, 6-4, at doubles No. 3, Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) and Pabon lost the last four games to drop the set, while Bandres and Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) lost in a tiebreak at No. 1 to Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux. Ordeig also won his first set at No. 5 singles, but lost the two next to Marco Nunez, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1.

Had those results gone the other way, the Bucs would have been returning home with a, 4-3, victory over the 8th-ranked Bulldogs.

“Overall, I think we showed up, but it’s a matter of putting all the pieces together,” Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. “I tell the guys that if they fight hard then they’ll give themselves chances to win, and we had those chances today.

“I think we’re playing well. I know our team is solid, but it’s just a matter of being able to finish a match and really believing that we can beat these [top-ranked] teams. We had our chances with Nebraska and we had our chances today, but we can’t squander those.”

After beating 60th-ranked Georgia State last Saturday, the Buccaneers fell to a strong Nebraska team Sunday, 4-2. Georgia marked the fifth ranked team ETSU has faced on its 2013 campaign, where the Bucs now stand at 2-3. Two more teams currently in the national polls await ETSU later in the year in No. 64 Dartmouth and, A-Sun foe, No. 62 North Florida.

For now, Zaatini’s men will focus on the start of conference play which begins Saturday in Spartanburg, S.C., against USC Upstate.

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