KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 23, 2010) - After falling just short at No. 20 Louisville Thursday evening the No. 62 ETSU men's tennis team could not maintain its rhythm at No. 5 Tennessee Saturday morning as the Bucs fell to their in-state rival 7-0 inside the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center in Knoxville.
With the win Tennessee begins the season at 1-0, while ETSU fell to 0-2.
The top-five ranked Vols was as good as advertised early as the seventh-ranked Tennessee doubles team of J.P. Smith and Davey Sandgren dropped the ETSU duo of juniors Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillame, France), and Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia), 8-5.
Tennessee continued to roll at the No. 2 position as 12th-ranked Rhyne Williams and Boris Conkic outlasted Bucs sophomore Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium), and freshman Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela), 8-3. In fact Saturday's loss for Gille and Bandres was their first of the season as the 52nd-ranked duo were 4-0 heading into the contest.
The Vols rounded out the doubles scores as Max Stevens and Edward Jones defeated ETSU sophomores Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden), and Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium), 8-4.
"It was extremely hard to watch this afternoon," said head coach Yaser Zaatini. "Tennessee is better than I'd say 99 percent of the entire country. I really think after playing them today that UT has a chance later this spring to win it all."
As singles action got underway Tennessee continued to roll as No. 22 Williams made the lead 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-3 straight set win over No. 51 Bandres. The Vols added to their advantage as No. 2 Smith rolled past No. 82 Teraz with a quick 6-0, 6-1 win.
Minutes later Tennessee closed out the match as No. 68 Boris Conkic defeated 89th-ranked Bottoni in straight sets 6-1, 6-3.
"I'm disappointed we didn't play better," said Zaatini. "I'll justify it by saying that Tennessee always does an excellent job forcing their game on you, so in a sense they didn't let us. Hopefully, our guys can learn from this match and get better the rest of the season."
#5 Tennessee 7, #62 East Tennessee State 0
1. #2 John-Patrick Smith (UT) def. #82 Grega Teraz (ETSU) 6-0, 6-1
2. #68 Boris Conkic (UT) def. #89 Charles Bottoni (ETSU) 6-1, 6-3
3. #22 Rhyne Williams (UT) def. #51 Jesus Bandres (ETSU) 6-1, 6-3
4. Tennys Sandgren (UT) def. Sander Gille (ETSU) 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 1-0 (13-11)
5. Matteo Fago (UT) def. Robin Akser (ETSU) 6-3, 6-1
6. Davey Sandgren (UT) def. Jeremy Bonnevalle (ETSU) 6-4, 6-1
1. #7 John-Patrick Smith/Davey Sandgren (UT) def. Grega Teraz/Charles Bottoni (ETSU) 8-5
2. #12 Rhyne Williams/Boris Conkic (UT) def. #52 Jesus Bandres/Sander Gille (ETSU) 8-3
3. Max Stevens/Edward Jones (UT) def. Robin Akser/Jeremy Bonnevalle (ETSU) 8-4
For more information on the reigning four-time Atlantic Sun Conference champion men's tennis team, please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.