TULSA, Okla. (May 23, 2008) - All good things must come to an end.
For junior Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela) those were not the exact words he wanted to hear after working his way into Friday's round of 16 at the 2008 NCAA men's singles championship by notching two impressive victories earlier in the week. However, he could not overcome Tennessee's J.P. Smith and his bid for a national championship came up short, 2-6, 2-6, from the Michael D. Case Tennis Center, located on the University of Tulsa's campus.
Despite the loss, Olivares enjoyed a spectacular season and run this week in Tulsa. The business major became just the second player in ETSU history to compete in the singles championship, advance to the Sweet 16, and earn All-American accolades.
In the first set of the match, both players held serve early on, but with Smith leading 3-2, he was able to force a break on Olivares and take a 4-2 advantage. From there, that shifted momentum and Smith cruised his way to an opening set victory, 6-2.
Smith, the nation's 24th ranked player, made it a straight set win by jumping out to a quick 3-1 lead and advanced into Saturday's quarterfinals by taking the second set, 6-2.
"Enrique went up against a great player today and Tennessee's game plan was very effective," commented head coach Yaser Zaatini. "Enrique lost some confidence at a pivotal time in the match and Smith used that to his advantage. It was tough to see Enrique's run come to an end after having such a great season, but with that said, hopefully he uses this experience to his advantage next year."
Olivares, who entered the match ranked No. 57, wrapped up the year with a 27-8 record; while Smith jumped his mark to 32-10.
The good news for both ETSU and Olivares is he has one more year left with the Bucs and he can use this stellar run to carry into his senior season in 2008-09. .
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