DURHAM, N.C. (Jan. 18, 2010) - After two days of mediocre performances the No. 62 ETSU men's tennis team improved dramatically winning seven out of 10 matches Monday afternoon during final day action of the 2010 Duke Invitational inside the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
"Obviously we played a lot better today," said head coach Yaser Zaatini. "One thing that our guys do is not quit. They are a tough group of players that have an extremely good work ethic. We know from this point on that we still have a very tough schedule. Even after this long weekend our guys are ready to take the momentum they built this afternoon and enthusiastically get after it these next couple of days in practice."
After only six total victories the first two days Zaatini's Bucs came out strong against No. 70 Elon taking two out of the three doubles contests.
ETSU was again led by the team of sophomore Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium), and freshman Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela), who stayed unbeaten this season with 8-4 win over the Phoenix's Alberto Rojas and Eric Turner. The No. 52-ranked Buccaneer duo earned four points for their decision, which gave the pair a total of 10 points over the three-day round robin tournament. Elon's Philip Nemec and Chase Helpingstine also posted 10 points at the Invitational; however Gille and Bandres earned the top spot after being the only doubles team to go 3-0.
"Both Sander and Jesus had really great chemistry together this weekend," said Zaatini. "No matter how we end up matching our players up during dual matches, I know both these underclassmen will bring something to the table that makes their partners better. Our goal is to create tandems that can feed off each other during a match and Sander and Jesus was a great example of this at Duke."
Senior Daniel Isaza (Medellin, Colombia), and sophomore Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden), added to the ETSU tally with their first doubles win of the spring. The two ETSU players earned three points with a convincing 8-1 victory over Elon's Clark Howell and Thomas Darling.
After their progress in doubles play the Bucs continued to gain momentum as singles competition began.
Playing in the number one position No. 82 junior Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia), earned his first win of the season with a 6-4, 6-3 straight set victory over Elon's Chase Helpingstine, while Bandres - who is ranked No. 51 nationally - closed out a long three-set contest to Philip Nemec, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
Fellow freshman Juan Ramierz (Asuncion, Paraguay), picked up his second win in as many days, with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 triumph over the Phoenix's Eric Turner. After being award eight points for his win, the first-year Buc closed out the event with a team-best 13 points, which was good enough for seventh place.
Closing out the scores for ETSU was Isaza and sophomore Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium). Isaza dropped Thomas Darling 6-4, 6-4, while Bonnevalle matched the ETSU captain with an identical score (6-4, 6-4) over Rojas.
With the Duke Invitational now in the books the nationally ranked Bucs return to action Thursday at No. 20 Louisville.
Attached above are the final individual standings of the 2010 Duke Invitational.
5 Nemec/Helpingstine (Elon) def. Grega Teraz/Charles Bottoni (ETSU) 8-6
4 No. 52 Sander Gille/Jesus Bandres (ETSU) def. Rojas/Turner (Elon) 8-4
3 Daniel Isaza/Robin Akser (ETSU) def. Howell/Darling (Elon) 8-1
10 No. 82 Grega Teraz (ETSU) def. Chase Helpingstine (Elon) 6-4, 6-3
9 No. 51 Jesus Bandres (ETSU) def. Philip Nemec (Elon) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
8 Juan Ramirez (ETSU) def. Eric Turner (Elon) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
7 Jeremy Bonnevalle (ETSU) def. Alberto Rojas (Elon) 6-4, 6-4
6 Carlos Arboleda (Elon) def. Ofir Weintraub (ETSU) 6-4, 6-4
5 Daniel Isaza (ETSU) def. Thomas Darling (Elon) 6-4, 6-4
4 Clark Howell (Elon) def. Jason Ramski (ETSU) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (12-10)
For more information on the reigning four-time Atlantic Sun Conference champion men's tennis team, please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.