STILLWATER, Okla. (Jan. 25, 2014) - On the heels of a narrow loss to No. 51 Oklahoma State, the ETSU men's tennis team was edged by nationally-ranked Arkansas, 4-3, Saturday afternoon.
Competing against its fourth ranked opponent in five matches, the 68th-ranked Buccaneers (1-4) gave No. 58 Arkansas all it could handle; however ETSU fell just short.
The Bucs began the afternoon taking the doubles point by picking up wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles, putting themselves in solid position to pull the upset over the Razorbacks (3-2).
Sophomore Ricardo Pabon (Bogota, Columbia) and freshman Diego Nunez (Monterrey, Mexico) were the last two Buccaneers to finish playing, with both players suffering narrow three-set defeats.
"It was a battle," ETSU head coach Yaser Zaatini said. "I hate that we are having to learn the hard way, but in every success story, there's always a little bit of pain."
The freshmen-laden Buccaneers' growing pains have come in the forms of narrow losses to nationally-ranked Wake Forest, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, and Arkansas.
"I hope the guys understand that we are a little better than our record shows," Zaatini said. "Because next week, it won't get any easier with Dartmouth and Yale."
Freshman David Biosca (Sant Fruitos De Bage, Spain) and senior Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) picked up singles wins for ETSU.
The Buccaneers will travel to the northeast next weekend where they will take on Dartmouth and No. 59 Yale.
No. 58 Arkansas 4, No. 68 ETSU 3
1. Merino/Nunez (ETSU) def. Nott/den Toom (ARK) 6-3
2. Fess/Thomason (ARK) def. Ordeig/Biosa (ETSU) 6-1
3. Pabon/Huertas (ETSU) def.Parlic/Munoz (ARK) 6-3
Order of finish: (2, 1, 3)
1. David Biosca (ETSU) def. Mike Nott (ARK) 6-4, 6-4
2. Jovan Parlic (ARK) vs. Diego Nunez (ETSU) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. Hall Fess (ARK) def. Sebastian Yllera (ETSU) 6-3, 6-4
4. Ismael Merino (ETSU) def. Christian Lee (ARK) 6-5(4), 6-5(3)
5. Santiago Munoz (ARK) def. Roger Ordeig (ETSU) 6-3, 6-0
6. Juan Marino (ARK) def. Ricardo Pabon (ETSU) 6-2, 4-6, 6-5(3)
Order of finish: (5, 3, 1, 4, 6, 2)