CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (Jan. 28, 2011) - After being down following doubles play, the No. 51 ETSU men's tennis team rallied in singles play to defeat No. 50 Binghamton, 6-1, Friday afternoon in the opening match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend, hosted by Virginia.
"We started the match a little slow, but I think the guys really had a sense of urgency when singles started," said ETSU Director of Tennis Yaser Zaatini. "To come back and beat a team that is ranked higher than us is always a plus."
Binghamton got off to a quick start in doubles action as Arnav Jain and Alexandre Haggai knocked off Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) at the number two spot, 8-5. Just a few minutes later, Binghamton clinched the doubles point as Sven Vloedgraven and Gilbert Wong defeated Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) and Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillaume, France), 8-6 at the number one position. The Bucs did pick up a victory at No. 3 as Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) and Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) took a thrilling 9-8 win.
The victory by Akser and Ramirez looked to give the Bucs some momentum heading into singles even though they were already behind 1-0. Ramirez made quick work of Ruben Devos at the No. 5 position, 6-3, 6-1, which evened the match back up.
Then, at the No. 6 position ETSU freshman Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela) defeated Bastian Bornkessel in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. The victory for Varon was the first dual victory of his career and it put ETSU in front 2-1. At the No. 1 position Gille defeated No. 55 ranked Vloedgraven, 6-4, 6-2, for his first win of the dual season.
"I think when Sander took the early lead in his match it really led the team," added Zaatini. "Juan started down a break, Jesus started down a break and Grega was down 5-1, so those points could have potentially lost us the match, but everybody came back and put it together."
The Bucs clinched the win at No. 3 when Teraz defeated Jain, 7-5, 6-3. Jain went undefeated in duals last year (24-0) and hadn't lost since April 17, 2009. He was on a 26-match winning streak in dual play, which dated back to 2009.
The Bucs were not done there; however, as No. 73 ranked Bandres earned a tough three set victory at No. 2. Finally, the Bucs completed the singles sweep as Bottoni knocked off Wong in three sets, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2.
The victory by the Bucs over Binghamton is their first over a ranked team this season. They finished the 2010 season with three wins over ranked opponents, which included No. 72 Elon, No. 48 UNC Wilmington, and No. 32 Alabama.
With the victory, No. 51 ETSU improves to 1-2 on the season, while No. 50 Binghamton opens the season with an 0-1 mark.
The Bucs return to action tomorrow as they will take on the winner of No. 1 ranked Virginia and No. 66 Cornell at 6 p.m. If the Bucs win tomorrow they will advance to the ITA National Indoor Championships, held next month in Seattle, Wash.
For more information on ETSU men's tennis please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's tennis link. Also, be sure to follow ETSU Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.
#51 ETSU 6, #50 Binghamton 1
1. Sander Gille (ETSU) def. #55 Sven Vloedgraven (BU), 6-4, 6-2
2. #73 Jesus Bandres (ETSU) def. Alexandre Haggai (BU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
3. Grega Teraz (ETSU) def. Arnav Jain (BU), 7-5, 6-3
4. Charles Bottoni (ETSU) def. Gilbert Wong (BU), 6-2, 6-7, 6-2
5. Juan Ramirez (ETSU) def. Ruben Devos (BU), 6-3, 6-1
6. Jorge Varon (ETSU) def. Bastian Bornkessel (BU), 6-2, 6-1
1. Vloedgraven/Wong (BU) def. Teraz/Bottoni (ETSU), 8-6
2. Jain/Haiggai (BU) def. Gille/Bandres (ETSU), 8-5
3. Akser/Ramirez (ETSU) def. Bornkessel/Devos (BU), 9-8