Johnson City, Tenn. (Apr. 18, 2002) — The Southern Conference Men's Tennis Championships get into full swing with the second round of matches Friday from City of Charleston Farmfield Courts in Charleston, S.C.
East Tennessee State (14-7, 9-1 Southern Conference) received a first-round bye due to their second-place finish in the SoCon standings.
The No. 2-seeded Bucs are awaiting their opponent, as they will face the winner of Thursday afternoon's match between No. 7-seeded Davidson and No. 10-seeded VMI Friday at 12:30 p.m. ETSU was nearly perfect against the two teams this season, defeating VMI, 7-0, on Feb. 17 and winning over Davidson, 6-1, on Mar. 29.
ETSU has been on a tear as of late, closing the season by winning seven of their last eight dual matches. The Bucs are currently on a two-match winning streak and have also put together two three-match streaks and a five-match streak this season.
ETSU is led by their senior captain Roberto Fernandez (Cuernavaca, Mexico). Fernandez has recorded a 15-14 record this season, including an 8-2 record in Southern Conference matches. Fernandez has been almost perfect in Southern Conference matches in his ETSU career, going 32-5.
Fernandez's doubles partner, junior Marcos Pavlovich (Otamendi, Argentina), is another big reason for the Buccaneer success in 2001-02. Pavlovich has a 14-10 singles record, 6-4 in SoCon matches. Pavlovich has a 12-8 record at No. 1 doubles this season, 10-0 in conference competition. Nine of those SoCon wins came with Fernandez, including the biggest one, a victory over the No. 22 team of John Chesworth and James Cameron of Furman on Apr. 10.
In addition to Fernandez, Pavlovich and junior Pablo Sahagun (Cuernavaca, Mexico), East Tennessee State has several young players that have shown the ability to step up and win big matches.
Sophomore Alejandro Salazar (Arequipa, Peru), a transfer from King College, has an 11-9 record in singles matches this season, 8-2 in Southern Conference matches. Fellow sophomore Moises Serrano (Bucaramanga, Colombia) has a 9-7 record in singles matches, 7-2 in SoCon competition.
Diego Iglesias (Mar del Plata, Argentina) has come on the scene and become one of the best young talents in the Southern Conference. Diego recorded a 15-4 singles record, ranging from flights 2-5. Iglesias has an 8-2 record in Southern Conference matches this season.
Freshman Fredrico Ochoa (Manizales, Colombia) and junior Francisco Diaz (Weston, Fla.) earned valuable experience this season, each picking up key victories against Southern Conference opponents.
The Southern Conference Men's Tennis Championships will continue from the Earle Tennis Center on the campus of The Citadel and the City of Charleston Farmfield Courts in Charleston, S.C.