Ramirez’s third set tiebreak clinches ETSU’s second-consecutive victory
BRISTOL, Tenn. (Feb. 26, 2012) – Junior Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) clinched the ETSU men’s tennis team’s second victory of the weekend, as he came back from a set down to defeat Tennessee Tech’s Alejandro Augusto Bueno in a third set tiebreak 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) on the Buccaneers’ path to a 6-1 win on Sunday afternoon at the Bristol Racquet Club.
The win finished off a home-opening weekend sweep for ETSU (2-8) after the Bucs took care of Appalachian State by the same score, 6-1, on Saturday night. Tennessee Tech (1-6) has now dropped three-consecutive matches for the second time this year, losing five of those decisions 6-1 with its other loss coming 7-0 to Elon.
“We’re playing with a little more fire and competing much better than how we had been,” Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. “We’ve beaten two solid teams, but even if we had lost I can now see the urgency in their play. Let’s hope this continues, because we need to keep it up in order to turn this season around and make it a successful one.”
After earning their second-consecutive doubles point on Saturday, the Bucs took their first doubles sweep of the season against Tech. Senior tandem Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) started the day with their third-straight doubles win in an 8-2 defeat of Alex Chen and Syrym Abdukhalikov at the No. 1 spot and improved their team record to 3-1 this spring.
Zaatini continued to stick with the same doubles lineup from yesterday’s win with junior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) and sophomore Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela) also winning their third-consecutive match with an 8-4 victory against Bueno and James Crawford at No. 3, while Ramirez and senior Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium) earned their first win as a team by defeating Vasily Eremeev and Artem Tarasov 8-2.
Bonnevalle continued to carry the Bucs’ momentum into singles play with a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Eremeev to put ETSU up 2-0 in the match. The win was Bonnevalle’s third in a row and improved the senior’s singles record to 10-10 this year and 4-5 in dual play.
Tech got on the board at No. 1 singles with Abdukhalikov defeating Bandres 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, a day after Bandres moved up from No. 2 singles to earn his first victory of the spring season.
It was the last point the Golden Eagles put up as Gille defeated Chen in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 in the No. 2 match before Ramirez reeled in the clincher against Bueno. Akser and freshman Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) finished the day at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively. Akser defeated Tarasov 6-1, 6-3 for his second win in two days, and Ribeiro made his first singles appearance since Feb. 12 to defeat Justin Kirstein 6-0, 7-5 after trailing 5-3 in the second set.
The five-time defending Atlantic Sun Tournament champions now prepare for conference play with their next match scheduled for 19 days from today, Mar. 16, against Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Fla. at 10 a.m.
For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s tennis links.