Olivares astonishing career comes to an end
Thursday, May 21, 2009

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (May 21, 2009) - Eventually all good things must come to an end, unfortunately for the ETSU community and Buccaneer fans alike men's tennis senior Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela) remarkable four-year career did just that Thursday as the No. 18-ranked captain fell to ninth-ranked Steven Moneke of Ohio State, 6-3, 6-3, during second-round play of the 2009 NCAA Singles Championship at the George Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas.


"(Steven) Moneke is a great player for Ohio State," said head Yaser Zaatini. "He's one of the top players in the country and we knew coming into the match that he has played a number of contests in the last couple of weeks. Because of that he really tried to force the issue and hit a number of winners to get points over quickly. Enrique didn't help the matter at times and once Moneke got rolling he's just too good of a player to give them type of opportunites."


After both players held serve early, Moneke took control of a quick paced first set winning the first frame 6-3. Olivares bounced back early in set two matching the Buckeye senior through the first four games. However, just like the first set the two-time Big Ten First-Team member gained momentum with back-to-back games, cruising to the win with an identical 6-3 second set victory.


Overall, Olivares closes out his career as not just one of the top men's tennis players in program history, but as one of the most decorated student-athletes in the history of intercollegiate athletics at ETSU.


The second winningest player in school history wraps up his career with a remarkable 115 wins, including posting an Atlantic Sun Conference record-setting mark of 32-1(.969 winning percentage). A four-time A-Sun First-Team member and two-time A-Sun Player of the Year, became the highest ranked ITA preseason player in school and league history this past spring. A 2008 ITA All-American and three-time A-Sun Tournament MVP, led the Bucs to four straight A-Sun regular season titles and three consecutive NCAA tournament births.


A mainstay in the national rankings since arriving in the Tri-Cites, Olivares holds 14 career wins against nationally ITA ranked players and has been at his best in a number of national tournaments which include the 2008 Southern Intercollegiate, ITA National Indoors and ITA All-American Intercollegiate.


"Enrique is the greatest player I've ever seen since I've been here at ETSU," said Zaatini. "He's not just the type of player you want on you're team leading players in practice and studying the game, but he's also the type of gentleman off the court that everyone in the ETSU community can be proud of. All his accomplishments have been paid for with hours of hard work and practice and the thing is that's just how he is as a person."


Olivares graduated this past May with a 3.44 grade point average in the B.B.A. honors program with an concentration in Corporate Finance and Investments. The 2007-08 ETSU Student-Athlete of the Year was a three-time A-Sun All-Academic Team member.


"Off the court Enrique is a genius in making himself the type of player and student-athlete he has became into today and would be the first to say that individual awards was never his goal over team accomplishments. Words are hard to describe what he means to me and our program and I hate that his prestigious career has ended today," Zaatini said. "There are so many people, including his teammates who you see wanting to be like Enrique. What a fine example of leadership and a student-athlete he's become to represent ETSU nationwide in the tennis circuit both on and off the court. His character, integrity and drive to make ETSU the best it could be will be missed."    



2009 NCAA Singles Championship (George Mitchell Tennis Center, Texas A&M University)

Round of 32

Steven Moneke (Ohio State) def. Enrique Olivares (East Tennessee State), 6-3, 6-3


For more information on ETSU men's tennis please visit ETSUBucs.com.