JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 2, 2010) - Just like the weather outside the ETSU men's tennis team stayed hot on the courts against Atlantic Sun Conference rival Jacksonville Friday afternoon as the 55th-ranked Bucs downed a pesky Dolphin squad 6-1 at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center in Johnson City.
With the win the Bucs improved to 12-7 overall with 8-1 mark in A-Sun play, while JU dropped to 8-10 and 4-5. More importantly ETSU wrapped up a first-round bye in the upcoming league tournament with their victory over Jacksonville.
"It was really warm today and Jacksonville kept fighting so I'm proud of the guys and how they stayed focused and kept battling the entire match," said head coach Yaser Zaatini.
ETSU opened play sweeping the doubles point, giving the Bucs the quick 1-0 lead.
After ETSU's fast start in doubles sophomore Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium) kept the momentum going as individual matches got underway with a strong 6-0, 6-0 victory over Logan Shalmi at No. 6. Bonnevalle's European teammate junior Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillaume, France) then extended ETSU's lead to 3-0 after he dropped Hector Fantova Sicne in straight sets 6-1, 6-0.
Needing only one point to clinch second-place in the A-Sun regular season standings senior Daniel Isaza (Medellin, Colombia) capped off the victory at the No. 4 position with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Jaime Esteban.
"We had a lot of guys play well today, but the thing I'm most proud of is how hard these players battle for points, when their ahead or if they are behind," said Zaatini. "That shows so much determination and that's the type of grit and character we are going to need as we play UNF tomorrow and in the conference tournament in a couple of weeks."
Also picking up singles wins for ETSU was sophomore Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and freshman Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela).
Jacksonville's lone victory came as Victor Vaz fought off a valiant effort from junior Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) defeating the Buc upperclassman 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8).
ETSU returns to action for the final time in the regular season as the Bucs host North Florida with a 11 a.m. contest Saturday at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center.
Attached above are final results from today's match.
For more information of the ETSU men's tennis team please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.