Men’s tennis wins A-Sun opener, 5-2, over USC Upstate

Friday, March 01, 2013

Bucs extend A-Sun winning streak to 18

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (March 1, 2013) – The No. 60 ETSU men’s tennis team began the Atlantic Sun season in the win column, defeating USC Upstate, 5-2, Friday afternoon at the Upstate Tennis Complex.

The win pushes ETSU’s (5-4) A-Sun winning streak to 18 consecutive matches dating back to the 2011 season. The Buccaneers were 9-0 in conference play a season ago and won the final eight conference matches of the 2011 season following a loss to North Florida on March 4.

Senior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) kept his winning streak alive. Bandres defeated USC Upstate’s (4-6) Yvon Haessig, 6-1, 6-4, in the top singles contest and has now won his last six matches. The 2012 A-Sun Tournament MVP moved his record to 12-10 overall, 6-2 dual.

“I’m glad we managed to get the victory, but we need to play with more energy, passion and fire,” Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. “Not everybody is on the same page regarding the concepts myself and Coach Rojas are trying to relay of fighting and getting it all together. We need to do a much better job of going out and meaning to get it instead of pretending and expecting to win.”

The Buccaneers were down early as the Spartans took the doubles point to open the scoring. Bandres and Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) were victorious at No. 1, but USC Upstate won matches over the tandems of Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) and Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela), as well as Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) and Ricardo Pabon (Bogota, Columbia).

Fortunately, Zaatini’s crew battled back in singles. Along with Bandres’ straight-set victory, Ribeiro won, 6-0, 6-2, in the No. 2 hole over Gonzalo Blanco; Ordeig won, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5 against Jamie Yates; and Pabon took a, 6-2, 6-2, winner over Jacob Darling at No. 6.

The other two singles contests went to three sets, with Ramirez closing the door on Ramon Simonetti, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 for the win. Once the Bucs had the match wrapped up, the other singles match between Varon and Viktor Selander went to a match tiebreak, which Salender won, 2-6, 7-5, 1-0 (12-10).

The 60th-ranked Buccaneers have three weeks off until their next match, which comes Friday, March 22, against No. 62 North Florida.

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