COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 11, 2008) - After making history yesterday, the No. 41 ETSU men's tennis team fell in a hard-fought battle to the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, 4-0 Sunday afternoon. Due to inclement weather the match was contested indoors at the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center. The Bucs end their season with a 24-4 overall record while the Buckeyes advance to the Round of 16 in Tulsa with a 34-1 record.
The Buckeyes claimed the doubles point for the early 1-0 advantage. Senior Lisandro Picardo (Mar del Plata, Argentina) and Daniel Isaza fell to Matt Allare and Balazs Novak, 8-3 in the No. 3 position while Oscar Posada (Valencia, Venezuela) and Alex Ahlgren (Tyreso, Sweden) fell to the 10th-ranked duo of Steven Moneke and Bryan Koniecko, 8-2 in the No. 1 position.
In the second position Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela) and Sebastian Serrano (Cartagena, Colombia) were leading their match 6-5 when the doubles point was claimed.
In singles the Buckeyes claimed the next three points in straight set victories. Senior Predrag Burmazovic (Belgrade, Serbia) fell to No. 19 Justin Kronauge in the No. 3 position, 6-1, 6-1, while Lisandro Picardo fell to Matt Allare, 6-1, 7-6.
The match was clinched when Daniel Isaza fell to Drew Eberly in the No. 6 slot, 6-2, 7-5.
In the three remaining matches the Bucs were battling it out. Olivares and Serrano both trailed by a set but were tied at 6-6 and 5-5 respectively looking to force the match into a third set. Oscar Posada also was done one set and was trailing 3-2 when the match was called.
"We showed up at the tournament and had a great hard fought match with Notre Dame yesterday and then today because of the weather we had to move indoors and we had a tough time making that transition. Ohio State plays probably 80 percent of their matches indoors but they are just an awesome team top to bottom. They did everything well and we didn't start coming through until it was a little too late. We fought hard and I am extremely proud of what the guys have accomplished in helping us rewrite the history books," said head coach Yaser Zaatini.
It has been a history making season for the Bucs. They made their sixth NCAA appearance and picked up their first-ever NCAA victory by defeating No. 26 Notre Dame. They were also ranked a program-high 33rd in the ITA polls. Both Olivares and Picardo have been nationally ranked and Serrano and Olivares were ranked as a doubles team during the season.
The Bucs bid a fond farewell to four seniors - Lisandro Picardo, Predrag Burmazovic, Oscar Posada and Sebastian Serrano.
Picardo who has been team captain the past two seasons leaves ETSU with a 93-27 overall record and is tied for sixth on the career wins list.
Burmazovic who was only with ETSU for two seasons leaves the Bucs with 44-23 overall record and has been a dominant force for the Bucs playing in the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 positions.
Posada leaves after spending five years with the Bucs with an 83-47 record battling back from injury and has been one of the most decorated players in ETSU history.
Serrano leaves ETSU with an 87-26 career record and has teamed up with partner Olivares to create one of the most formidable doubles teams earning a 63-14 record in three seasons.
"We wouldn't be here without the play of our seniors. They have helped put our program on the map and they have really been the motor of our team. We are losing a great group of guys and they are leaving some big shoes to fill. It will be interesting to see I can help the next generation cover those shoes. Just the overall toughness, their leadership, strength and power will be extremely missed," said Zaatini.
The Bucs end their history making season today but for junior Enrique Olivares his season will continue. Olivares became only the second ever Buccaneer to be selected for the NCAA singles championships following head coach Yaser Zaatini. The singles championships will begin on May 21 at the University of Tulsa. For more information on Buccaneer tennis visit www.ETSUBucs.com.
No. 2 Ohio State 4, No. 41 ETSU 0
No. 1- #57 Enrique Olivares (ETSU) vs. #16 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) 3-6, 6-6 unfinished
No. 2- Sebastian Serrano (ETSU) vs. #32 Steven Moneke (OSU) 0-6, 5-5 unfinished
No. 3- #19 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Predrag Burmazovic (ETSU) 6-1, 6-1
No. 4- Matt Allare (OSU) def. Lisandro Picardo (ETSU) 6-1, 7-6
No. 5- Oscar Posada (ETSU) vs. Balasz Novak (OSU), 1-6, 2-3 unfinished
No. 6- Drew Eberly (OSU) def. Daniel Isaza (ETSU) 6-2, 7-5
Order of Finish - 3, 4, 6*
No. 1- #10 Moneke/Koniecko (OSU) def. Ahlgren/Posada (ETSU) 8-2
No. 2- Olivares/Serrano (ETSU) vs. #14 Eberly/Kronauge (OSU) 6-5 unfinished
No. 3- Allare/Novak (OSU) def. Isaza/Picardo (ETSU) 8-3
Order of Finish - 3, 1 *
* - deciding match