NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 17, 2012) – The No. 74 ETSU men’s tennis team will be looking for its third win in three seasons against Middle Tennessee State University on Saturday, as the Bucs travel to Nashville to take on the Blue Raiders inside the Nashboro Village Athletic Club. First serve is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST.
ETSU (0-7) comes off a trip to the central plains region, where it took on No. 73 Drake in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday before heading three hours west on I-80 to Lincoln, Neb. for weekend matches with Denver and No. 38 Nebraska. The Bucs failed to pick up a win in any of the three matches, but showed improvement after nearly pulling off an upset against the Huskers on Sunday; losing the match 4-3. ETSU’s other two losses on the trip each came by a score of 6-1.
As a team, ETSU now holds a 9-28 dual match singles record and a 2-18 doubles record. The Bucs have yet to take a doubles point in any of their seven matches.
After starting the spring season 0-4, senior Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) won two-consecutive matches this past weekend and, in doing so, was named Atlantic Sun Player of the Week. Gille notched his first win of the spring last Saturday in a 6-4, 6-2 straight-set decision against Denver’s Enoj Bonin. The following day, Gille made it two wins in a row by taking down Nebraska’s No. 78 ITA-ranked men’s singles player, Benedikt Lindheim, 6-3, 6-0. It was the ETSU senior’s first win against an ITA-ranked opponent since the 2010 NCAA Tournament, as Gille avenged junior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) after Bandres lost to Lindheim 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in the fall.
MTSU (3-3) will play its fifth-consecutive match in its friendly confines of Nashboro Village, having gone 3-1 through its four home matches so far. In their most recent outing, the Blue Raiders picked up a 4-3 victory against Brown to hand the Bears (6-2) just their second loss of the season. In that match, MTSU won two of three doubles matches to take the doubles point, and went 3-3 in singles play with victories at the No. 1, 3 and 4 singles positions by Ben Davis, Christopher Lang and Ettore Zito, respectively.
Davis and Lang have led the Blue Raiders through the early portion of the spring season as each holds a 4-2 dual singles record to share the team lead in singles victories and winning percentage. The two also boast a 2-1 record when competing together in doubles.
The Bucs and Blue Raiders have met in each of the last five spring seasons, with ETSU holding a 4-1 advantage in those matches. Last year, ETSU swept MTSU 7-0 in Bristol, Tenn.
Bandres and sophomore Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) have experience against MTSU this year. During the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships in the fall, Bandres met with Matthew Langley and dropped a close 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) match, while Ordeig fell to Davis in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 on the same weekend.
Live stats for Saturday’s match will be provided courtesy of GoBlueRaiders.com.
For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the tennis links.