JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 5, 2014) - The ETSU men's tennis team continues to position itself well for the upcoming Atlantic Sun Championships. Saturday, the first-place Bucs beat USC Upstate, 5-1, to extend their season-best win streak to seven matches and remain unbeaten in league play.
The Buccaneers (10-8, 5-0) overcame a motivated effort from USC Upstate, with ETSU taking the doubles point to start the day and going on to win five of the day's six singles points.
"I think we came out decent," ETSU head coach Yaser Zaatini said. "Midway, I think we fell a little flat, but every time you get the win, something was done right."
Sebastian Yllera (Cinco Saltos, Argentina) and Conner Huertas Del Pino (Lima, Peru) started the day off with a win at No. 3 doubles, making quick work of USC Upstate's Yvon Haessig and Rajanvir Dharni, 8-1.
The Spartans (7-12, 2-4) responded by winning the No. 1 doubles spot, with Gonzalo Blanco and Matthias Kidler outlasting Diego Nunez (Lima, Peru) and Ismael Merino (Monterrey, Mexico), 8-7, in a tie-break; however David Biosca (Sant Fruitos De Bage, Spain) and Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) sealed the win at doubles for the Bucs, winning at the No. 2 spot.
With the win, Biosca and Ordeig improved to 6-2 in doubles on the season. The duo has won six consecutive doubles matches.
Biosca, Nunez, Yllera, Huertas, and Merino won the No. 1-5 singles spots, in order, while Ordeig suffered a loss at No. 6 singles, his first singles setback since Feb. 8.
Both Yllera and Merino have won a team-best six consecutive matches in singles play.
Despite picking up the win, Zaatini recognizes room for improvement heading into the final stretch of league play.
"I think the guys are competing well, but we still have a lot of immaturity spread out through the six courts yet," Zaatini said. "To try to bring them together is a challenge. We'll just keep digging away and keep working, and hopefully at some point it will fall together."
The Bucs will conclude Atlantic Sun competition next weekend as they host Kennesaw State Friday, April 11 and Mercer Saturday, April 12, with both matches beginning at 11:00 a.m.
The Atlantic Sun Championships will begin Friday, April 18. Currently, ETSU (5-0) sits alone in first place in the league standings, ahead of second-place North Florida (4-1) and third-place Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast (4-2).
"There is some nervous optimism," Zaatini said in reference to the upcoming conference tournament. "We respect all the teams that are in the conference. Everyone has gotten so much better. At any point, anything can happen. I think we just have to come in with the attitude of competing hard and not taking anybody for granted and just making sure that we're ready to go."
Prior to Saturday's season finale versus Mercer, ETSU will recognize its lone outgoing senior, Ordeig.
#61 ETSU 6, USC Upstate 1
1. #116 David Biosca (ETSU) def. KIDLER, Matthias (UPST) 6-0, 6-1
2. Diego Nunez (ETSU) def. SIMONETTI, Ramon (UPST) 6-3, 6-4
3. Sebastian Yllera (ETSU) def. BLANCO, Gonzalo (UPST) 6-3, 6-4
4. Conner Huertas (ETSU) def. YATES, Jamie (UPST) 6-2, 6-4
5. Ismael Merino (ETSU) def. DHARNI, Rajanvir (UPST) 6-2, 6-2
6. HAESSIG, Yvon (UPST) def. Roger Ordeig (ETSU) 6-2, 6-3
1. KIDLER, Matthias/BLANCO, Gonzalo (UPST) def. Diego Nunez/Ismael Merino (ETSU) 8-7 (7-0)
2. David Biosca/Roger Ordeig (ETSU) def. YATES, Jamie/SIMONETTI, Ramon (UPST) 8-6
3. Sebastian Yllera/Conner Huertas (ETSU) def. DHARNI, Rajanvir/HAESSIG, Yvon (UPST) 8-1
USC Upstate 7-12, 2-4 A-Sun
ETSU 10-8, 5-0 A-Sun; National ranking #61
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,4,3,5,2,6)
FOLLOW THE BUCS