Bucs close out Mercer, 7-0, clinch A-Sun opening-round bye

Friday, April 12, 2013

ETSU a No. 2 seed in next weekend’s championship

MACON, Ga. (April 12, 2013) – No matter the outcome of the regular season finale, the No. 74 ETSU men’s tennis team is guaranteed a first-round bye and a No. 2 seed in next weekend’s Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship after defeating Mercer, 7-0, Friday afternoon from the LeRoy Peddy Tennis Center.

The win marks ETSU’s (10-6, 6-1 A-Sun) fourth consecutive shutout as Mercer (5-14, 2-5 A-Sun) got the same treatment the Bucs have handed FGCU, Lipscomb and Northern Kentucky. It did not come easy. ETSU had to win four of its singles points in three sets with Mercer fighting for its A-Sun postseason life.

“We fought hard. As usual it comes as no surprise that every team we face throws everything and the kitchen sink at us,” Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. “We showed poise and resolve. It was not easy out there, but we came through.”

The doubles sets were as easy as it got for the Bucs with a sweep by scores of 8-3, 8-5 and 8-6 and No. 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Senior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) and sophomore Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) led the way in the top match, defeating Joao Pagan and Peter Tauchner.

Bandres continued to roll in singles, becoming the first to finish off a point, 6-2, 6-0, over Tauchner. Junior Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) also eased to victory against Anderson Scarpa on court five, 6-0, 6-2, to put the Buccaneers a point from victory.

Then came the kitchen sink. The Bucs took the first set No. 2, 3 and 4 matches, but Mercer clawed its way back in to win the second set of each. On court six, Arsav Mohanty took the first set, 6-1, against Ricardo Pabon (Bogota, Columbia), forcing Pabon to come back and win each of the next two sets to keep ETSU perfect.

With all four matches in a third set, ETSU was by no means going to cruises to victory. That’s when the Bucs turned it on, as Ribeiro won his final set, 6-1, senior Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) won at love, junior Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela) went 6-3 and Pabon finished at 6-1 to complete the shutout.

The 74th-ranked Buccaneers complete the regular season Saturday at 2 p.m., against Kennesaw State.

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

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