Bucs roll past Hatters, 5-2
DELAND, Fla. (April 2, 2009) - Just like it has the past three seasons the ETSU men's tennis team continued to dominate play in Atlantic Sun Conference action dropping former ITA ranked rival Stetson, 5-2 Thursday at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center in Deland, Fla. With the win No. 59-ranked Bucs run its overall record to 9-7, with a perfect 7-0 mark in A-Sun play, while the Hatters fall to 16-5 and 7-1.
As play opened No.68-ranked ETSU seniors Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela) and Alex Ahlgren (Tyreso, Sweden) made quick work of Njal Stene and Chris Swanteson, 8-4, while junior teammate Daniel Isaza (Medellin, Columbia) and freshman Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) clinched the doubles point with its 8-5 win over Casare Gallo and Mark Mestans.
With ETSU now having both the early momentum and an 1-0 lead, reigning A-Sun Player of the Week Olivares extended the Buccaneer advantage in No. 1 singles action dropping Filip Kricka, 6-1, 6-1. The No.12-ranked ITA singles player in the land has now won nine straight head-to-head contests and moves his career A-Sun singles record to an exceptional 27-1 mark.
Just as quick as Olivares picked up his victory fellow captain Ahlgren advanced the ETSU lead to 3-0, after dismissing Gokay Celik in No. 6 action 6-1, 6-1. With the Bucs then needing only one more singles win to secure its 30th straight A-Sun victory, sophomore Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) picked up his 11 singles win of the spring, dropping Maksim Levanovich in straight sets 7-6, 6-3.
Even with the match in hand ETSU continued to play well as newcomer Robin Akser won his fifth straight singles match outlasting Cesare Gallo in No. 5 action, 7-5, 6-7, 1-0 (10-5).
"Stetson is an outstanding tennis team and (head coach) Pierre (Pilote) has done a great job with a number of young players," said head coach Yaser Zaatini. "Heading into this match we knew it would be tough. Playing on the road in the heat against talent players is never an easy task. Every conference contest we play in, our guys know we are going to get our opponents' best shot. That's why I'm so proud of our team today. This was one our best performances of the season. Every player played extremely hard and really gave us a complete effort. Our team is young and has so much potential and I know I expect a lot out of our guys, so it was good to see that today they took another step in getting better against such a quality team in Stetson. We've played such a tough non-conference schedule at the first of the season to get ready for this point and now we sit two matches away from achieving a goal we set at the first of the year."
The nationally ranked Bucs will now have a quick turnaround as they face league foe Florida Gulf Coast Saturday at the FGCU Tennis Complex in Fort Myers, Fla.
For more information on the ETSU men's tennis team please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.