CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (November 6, 2008) - In a field that features the top-32 ITA singles players in the nation, ETSU men's tennis senior Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela) again showed why he belongs in that category Thursday afternoon, at the ITA National Indoor Championships, in Charlottesville, Va.
"What Enrique (Olivares) is doing this fall season is remarkable," said head coach Yaser Zaatini. "The number of matches he has won is superior in its self, but I've never seen a player win as many contests against such high quality opponents then he has."
In his opening-round match, the preseason No. 31st ranked Olivares rallied to a comeback three set win over No.10th ranked Nate Schnugg of Georgia. In the opening set, Schnugg looked strong winning the first set 6-2. Then as the second set opened Schnugg looked like he would sail to a sweep of Olivares, however like he has so many times, the hard-working ETSU captain rallied to a 7-6 second-set win. Then in the deciding final set Schnugg and Olivares would battle hard, however Olivares proved to be too much winning the match 2-6, 7-6, 7-6.
"(Nate) Schnugg is a great player," said Zaatini. "He's a guy that won a region championship this season and really plays a very professional style of tennis. Early in the match he gave Enrique (Olivares) some trouble with his big serve and forcing Enrique to use his backhand more. The thing is, Enrique works so hard at getting better and so despite being down a break in the second set, he really battled through it and fought to get back into the match. I really thought he did a great job adjusting and making Schnugg move from side-to-side. Once that happen Enrique was able to capture some momentum and get in a good rhythm, which ultimately allowed him to win the match."
With the victory Olivares advances to face the winner of Norte Dame's Brett Helgeson and Stanford's Alex Clayton, Friday in the Round of 16. Clayton is currently ranked as the fourth best player in the nation according to preseason ITA rankings.