MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (March 28, 2010) - After losing at home to instate rival Middle Tennessee State last spring the No. 60 ETSU men's tennis returned the favor to the host Blue Raiders this season as the Bucs dropped MTSU 4-1 Sunday afternoon at the Buck Bouldin Tennis Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
With the win ETSU improved to 11-7 overall, while the Blue Raiders fell to 4-15.
"This was a great win of us today," said head coach Yaser Zaatini. "MTSU is a great program every year and it was nice to see our guys come through with a quality road victory. It seems like every season we play each other, the team that is on the road wins, so I'm glad after we lost a year ago that our players were able to come back today."
ETSU opened play by winning two out of three doubles matches. After juniors Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) and Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillaume, France) lost to Kyle Wishing and John Peers 8-4, the Bucs rolled past the Blue Raiders the remaining two doubles contests.
As singles competition got underway Peers - who is ranked 40th in the latest ITA rankings -- tied the match at 1-1 as the MTSU senior defeated Teraz 6-3, 6-4 at the No. 1 position.
"MTSU is a great team at the top of their lineup so it was important after Grega lost for the rest of our guys to play well," said Zaatini. "That being said, I thought Grega had a chance against Peers, but this afternoon Peers' serve and volley was just too much for Grega's good return game."
The Bucs quickly jumped back on top as freshman Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) halted the MTSU momentum with a 6-3, 6-2 win at the No. 6 slot, while sophomore Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) kept his winning streak going with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Victor Melo at the No. 2 position.
"Jesus and Sandy kept us in the match today," said Zaatini. "At the time when Grega's match ended Danny (Daniel Isaza) was down to match point at No. 3, so it was great to see Jesus and Sander to come through when we needed it. When that happened Danny was able to stay alive against Cowder. That kept the score at 3-1 and gave us a chance to keep on rolling with Charlie and Juan winning their first sets."
Needing only one more point for the victory Charles Bottoni then rallied off his fourth straight win with a quick 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Matthew Langley.
With its three-match sweep in Middle Tennessee the Bucs return to the Tri-Cities for their final homestand of the season as they host Jacksonville with a 1 p.m. contest Friday at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center.
Peers/Wishing (MTSU) def. Teraz/Bottoni (ETSU), 8-4
Gille/Bandres (ETSU) def. Langle/Melo (MTSU) 8-3
Akser/Isaza (ETSU) def. Waters/Cowden (MTSU), 8-3
Peers (MTSU) def.Teraz (ETSU), 6-3, 6-4
Gille (ETSU) def. Melo (MTSU), 6-4, 6-4.
Isaza (ETSU) UF Cowder (MTSU), 3-6, 7-6, 4-4 UF
Bottoni (ETSU) def. Langley (MTSU), 6-0, 6-1
Ramirez (ETSU) UF Waters (MTSU), 6-3, 1-4 UF
Bandres (ETSU) def. Wishing (MTSU), 6-3, 6-2
For more information on the ETSU men's tennis team please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.